Workshop on the Imagination (Manchester, Friday 15 November 2019)

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Day workshop includes Dominic Gregory (Sheffield) on ‘Experiential phenomenology and imagistic content’, and Margot Strohminger, Rob Hopkins & Dorothea Debus.

Workshop on the Imagination
> University of Manchester, Friday 15 November 2019
> Venue: Boardroom, 2nd Floor, Arthur Lewis Building


10.00 – 11.30: Dominic Gregory (Sheffield): ‘Experiential phenomenology and imagistic content’
‘Pure intentionalists’ claim that the phenomenological character of a mental episode is determined by its content. A central part of the phenomenological character of perceptual experiences is that, in them, things look or sound etc. to us to be certain ways.Pure intentionalists are therefore committed to holding that the presence of sensory appearances in the course of perceptual experiences follows from their possession of certain contents. The talk will outline some considerations in favour of that last idea,before examining some of its apparently problematic consequences, ones relating to sensory mental imagery and, more generally, to our knowledge of what perceptual experiences are like.
Response from Bethany Ansell (Manchester)

11.30 – 11.45: coffee break

11.44 – 1.15: Margot Strohminger (Oxford): ‘Supposition, Imagination and Offline Belief’
It is widely thought that supposition and imagination are different. Thus it is no surprise that we find them playing different roles in epistemological theorizing about conditionals and modal claims. In this talk I will argue that the attitudeof offline belief is best suited to play both roles. By ‘offline belief’ I mean the attitude for a mental state that ‘simulates’ belief, as is familiar from mainstream accounts of pretense and folk psychology. A single propositional attitude should thus playthe theoretical roles standardly assigned to what are thought to be two distinct attitudes.
Response from Adriana Clavel-Vázquez (Oxford)

1.15 – 2.30: lunch

2.30 – 4.00: Rob Hopkins (NYU): ‘Ryle-ing the Irreal: sensory imagining as knowing about sensing’
Gilbert Ryle claims that perception involves both sensation and thought. Sensory imagining, he holds, though usually considered to involve something like the recreation of sensation, in fact involves only the deployment of perceptual thought.Ryle thus offers the most radical alternative to the account of imagining that has dominated thinking in both philosophy and psychology. Ultimately, Ryle’s radical anti-sensationalism proves untenable. Nonetheless, in theorizing the imagination much can be learned from his emphasis on the role of thought or knowledge, and his de-emphasisising the role of anything like sensation.I try to say more about the kind of knowledge in play, and to use that to capture various important aspects of sensory imagining. I concede that perceptual thought alone cannot be all there is to such imaginative states. The residue can be distinguished sharplyfrom perceptual sensation, and its role in imagining can be circumscribed, but its existence must be acknowledged.
Response from Joel Smith (Manchester)

4.00 – 4.30: coffee break

4.30 – 6.00: Dorothea Debus (Konstanz): ‘Imagining Our Own Future Selves: On the Role and Value of Imagination in Transformative Projects’
Sometimes people choose to change their lives quite drastically: a young person might enlist to go to war, a childless couple might plan to have a child, a successful city banker might plan to become a Buddhist nun. Thus, sometimes people engagein ‘transformative projects’ with respect to their own personal lives. The present paper asks which role our ability to imagine our own future lives might play in such transformative projects; what the value of our ability to imagine our own future selvesmight be in these contexts; and how we might respond to the claim that imagination couldn’t and shouldn’t play any role in such transformative projects at all.
Response from Nils-Hennes Stear (Southampton)

6.30: Dinner (venue TBA)

Attendance is free, although dinner is restricted to speakers. If you wish to attend, please email [email protected]