CFP: Science and Philosophy of the Imagination Conference

Submission deadline: June 8, 2020

Conference date(s):
September 21, 2020 - September 22, 2020

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom

Topic areas


Recent years have seen a proliferation of research in the philosophy of the imagination. However, despite this newfound focus on the imagination, more attention needs to be paid to recent findings from psychology and neuroscience that have the potential to shed light on the nature of the imagination and the mechanisms that give rise to it.The proposed conference aims to address these issues by providing a forum for interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, with the hope that philosophers of imagination can develop more empirically-informed practice, and scientists involved in studying the imagination can develop an understanding of some of the philosophical implications of their research.

We invite submissions from philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and cognitive scientists working on issues related to the imagination. Submissions should be in the form of a 500-1,000 word extended abstract, and should be sent to [email protected] with the subject line "SciPhiImagination Submission" by 30/3/2020.

The conference aims to address a broad range of research questions including (but certainly not limited to):

What is the link between mental imagery and imagination?

How do people imagine counterfactual scenarios, and how does this relate to philosophical thought?

Is imagination embodied?

What are the methodological issues with the scientific study of the imagination?

Is the imagination rational?

How can 4E approaches to the mind impact on our understanding of imagination?

Is imagination a single mental process or does "imagination" refer to many distinct processes?

How can the predictive processing framework impact on our understanding of the imagination?

What are the underlying mechanisms of imagination?

Is imagining a natural capacity or a culturally-mediated practice?

How can the imagination provide one with knowledge?

Is there a unified capacity of imagination or are there many distinct capacities?

How did a mind that evolved to act in the here and now develop the capacity to creatively imagine radical departures from reality?

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