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June 6, 2016: Anna Ichino: The Powers of Imagination

Alice meets Humpty Dumpty - The Victorian Web

Seminars of Philosophy of Language and Mind


Anna Ichino (University of Nottingham)

The Powers of Imagination

June 6, 2016: h. 10.30-12.30.

Room: Sala Enzo Paci, Directorate of Department of Philosophy.

Via Festa del Perdono 7, Milano


The talk will be held in English.

Participation is strongly recommended to students of the Doctoral School in Philosophy and Human Sciences.

Attendance is free. All welcome.



/Believing/ that you have won the lottery is clearly different from merely /imagining/ that you have won the lottery. But what precisely does the difference amount to? This is less clear. According to the standard view in the contemporary debate, imaginings and beliefs differ in two key /functional/ respects: (1) with respect to the cognitive /inputs/ in response to which they are formed (imaginings are not formed in response to real-world evidence as beliefs are), and (2) with respect to the behavioural /outputs/ that they are able to produce (imaginings do not motivate us to act as beliefs do). I will argue that the standard view is mistaken: imaginings motivate us to act (and react) precisely as beliefs do; hence the only relevant difference between them is at the input level.
I will show that this view does not have the absurd consequences that it is generally taken to have; and that, on the contrary, it has important implications for our understanding of how the mind works.

06 June 2016
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