Dreaming and Imagination


  • This paper owes much of its development to many helpful conversations, for which I am grateful. I particularly thank Tamar Szabó Gendler, Alvin Goldman, Allan Hazlett, Benjamin Jarvis, Kelby Mason, Al Mele, Joshua Schechter, Eric Schwitzgebel, David Sosa, Ernest Sosa, Jim Stone, Jason Turner, John Turri, Neil Van Leeuwen, Brian Weatherson, Dean Zimmerman, and two anonymous Mind & Language referees.

Arché Philosophical Research Centre, University of St. Andrews, 17–19 College Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL, UK.
Email: ichikawa@gmail.com


Abstract:  What is it like to dream? On an orthodox view, dreams involve misleading sensations and false beliefs. I argue, on philosophical, psychological, and neurophysiological grounds, that orthodoxy about dreaming should be rejected in favor of an imagination model of dreaming. I am thus in partial agreement with Colin McGinn, who has argued that we do not have misleading sensory experiences while dreaming, and partially in agreement with Ernest Sosa, who has argued that we do not form false beliefs while dreaming. Rather, on my view, dreams involve mental imagery and propositional imagination. I defend the imagination model of dreaming from objections.