On What There Isn't. Imagination, Impossibilities & Counterfactual Reasoning
Intuitively, we have a pretty clear understanding of which kinds of mental activities count as exercises of imagination and which do not, and, yet, there is not much consensus on the question what, exactly, imagination is: Neither do we have a satisfying account of the nature of imagination, nor do we know how we can differentiate imagination from other mental states such as supposing, conceiving, believing, remembering, or perceiving.
Imagination has been discussed in different philosophical contexts such as engagement with fiction, mindreading, pretense, or modal epistemology and has given rise to many philosophical and psychological challenges. In this workshop we want to examine the nature of imagination and discuss questions like the following: How do people imagine alternatives to reality? What role plays imagination in counterfactual reasoning? Is imagination a guide to possibility? Can we imagine impossibilities? What is the relationship between imagination and other mental states?
- Ruth Byrne (Dublin)
- Dominic Gregory (Sheffield)
- Margot Strohminger (Oxford)
The workshop will be held from 05/09/2019 to 06/09/2019 at Heinrich Heine University’s Haus der Universität in the heart of the city.