The Meanings of “Imagine” Part I: Constructive Imagination

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Abstract

In this article (Part I), I first clarify what the words “imagine,”“imagining,” and “imagination” can mean. Each has (a) a constructive sense, (b) an attitudinal sense, and (c) an imagistic sense. Keeping the senses straight in the course of cognitive theorizing is important for both psychology and philosophy. I then discuss the roles that perceptual memories, beliefs, and genre truth attitudes play in constructive imagination, or the capacity to generate novel representations that go well beyond what’s prompted by one’s immediate environment.

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