Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

(Fictional-)Imaginings are Entertainings (in a Project)

Date: 26 January 2022

Time: 15:00

Place: TBA

Abstract

What are imaginings? This article argues for the deflationary view that imaginings are just entertainings, I=E. It was common in early analytic philosophy, but few if any current writers appear to hold it. The paper critically addresses an argument by Walton against I=E that may contribute to explain this turn; some who espouse views otherwise close to I=E endorse it. The main point made in response to Walton’s arguments is suggested by Walton himself: that entertainings/imaginings are mental episodes that agents launch for a purpose. The paper appeals to it to dispose of a miscellany of other contemporary considerations against I=E. In addition to answering the most common objections against it, the paper offers as a positive consideration for I=E that it helps establishing the imagination as a fundamental, irreducible mental attitude, a view that philosophers including Walton and McGinn assume.