Imagination and Knowledge

September 28, 2017 - September 29, 2017
University of Konstanz

Y-Building, Room Y311
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz 78464


  • Zukunftskolleg (University of Konstanz)
  • "What If" DFG Research Unit

All speakers:

Magdalena Balcerak Jackson
University of Miami
Jérôme Dokic
EHESS/Institut Jean Nicod
Chistopher Gauker
Universität Salzburg
Dominic Gregory
University of Sheffield
Claremont McKenna College
Andrea Lailach-Hennrich
University of Konstanz
Julia Langkau
University of Fribourg, Switzerland
University of Liège
Humboldt-University, Berlin
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University


Margherita Arcangeli
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Andrea Lailach-Hennrich
University of Konstanz

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That imagination as a representational capacity plays a distinctive role in our cognitive architecture is a traditional philosophical thought. However, whether and how imagination can give us knowledge about the external world is a disputed issue. If one is to believe Wittgenstein, then imagination may tell us something about the experiencing subject, but not about the external world. By contrast, the more and more philosophers are defending the view that we can acquire knowledge by using imagination. In this workshop we want to focus on the question of how this is possible and examine the different ways in which imagination gives us knowledge. This brings to consider issues about the conditions for knowledge by imagination. Is knowledge acquired via imagination the same sort of knowledge acquired by different means (e.g., perception or judgment)? Can imagination alone really ground knowledge? Hence, the aim of the workshop is also to consider how imagination relates to other mental phenomena. Last but not least, we will consider the relevance of the idea that there are different species of imagination to the view that imaginings can have epistemic value.

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École des hautes études en sciences sociale

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