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Abstract

Many writers offer accounts of our grasp of the expressive gestures of others, or of the expressive content of works of art, in terms of our imagining the experiences of another, or ourselves having certain experiences, or, in the case of works of art, a persona to have experiences. This invocation of what Kant would term, the reproductive imagination, in the perception of expressive content, is contested in this paper. In its place it is suggested that the detection of expressive content is a form of direct, but reason constituting perception. In such perception it is the Kantian productive, rather than the reproductive, imagination which plays a central role.