[SydPhil] Dan Hutto Sydey Uni Dept Seminar title/abstract

Brian Hedden brian.hedden at sydney.edu.au
Mon Oct 26 09:19:46 AEDT 2015

Hi all,

Below is the title and abstract for Dan Hutto's (Wollongong) department seminar talk at Sydney Uni, this Wed Oct 28 from 1-2:30 in the Muniment Room, Quadrangle Building A14.  Hope to see you there!

Overly enactive imagination? Imagining the unimaginable
Daniel D. Hutto

A certain philosophical frame of mind holds that contentless imaginings are unimaginable; they are “inconceivable” (Shapiro 2014a, p. 214). Accordingly, it is just  not possible to imagine imaginings in the absence of representational content. Against such claims, this paper defends the possibility that some imaginings may indeed be contentless. It argues that there is no naturalistically respectable way to rule out this possibility on purely conceptual grounds. Following Langland-Hassan (2015), it then rehearses reasons for being sceptical about the main general accounts of the correctness conditions of imaginings. It light of that scepticism it advances reasons for thinking that only non-basic, hybrid imaginative attitudes have any correctness conditions at all. A hybrid account is offered in which basic sensory imaginings are enlisted to play many different kinds of cognitive roles depending on the surrounding contentful attitudes that imaginers adopt toward them. But, taking this analysis a step further, the paper concludes by defending that view that what matters explanatorily (when our interest is on how purely basic sensory imaginings do their cognitive work) is understand how imaginings enable relevant interactions. In this light it is argued that there is no compelling reason for thinking that representational contents play any explanatory role in this story.
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