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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

When developing accounts of imaginative experience, philosophers generally (though not universally) accept two pieces of phenomenological data as a starting point: (1) the experiential character of imagining is importantly similar to that of perceiving; (2) despite this similarity, the experiential character of imagining is nonetheless importantly different from perceiving. Someone who aims to explain imaginative experience must discharge two principal tasks: explain the similarity between the experiential character of imagination and the experiential character of perception, and explain the difference. The main focus of this chapter is the second of these tasks. Three views that aim to explain how the character of imaginative experience differs from the experiential character of related mental states like perception are considered. Close examination reveals that none gives an adequate account of the character of imaginative experience. The final section briefly explores what their failure teaches us about the project of giving an account of imaginative experience.

Keywords: Imagination, perception, will-dependence, non-existence, Sartre, Hume, Wittgenstein

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