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Imagination Through Knowledge

Imagination seems to play an epistemic role in philosophical and scientific thought experiments, mindreading, and ordinary practical deliberations insofar as it generates new knowledge of contingent facts. However, it also seems that imagination is limited to revealing merely possible ways the world might be. The conjunction of these claims is the puzzle of knowledge through imagination. This chapter aims to resolve this puzzle. It is argued that imagination has an epistemic role to play, but it is limited to the context of discovery. Consideration of the Simulation Theory's so-called "threat of collapse” provides further evidence that imagination does not, on its own, yield new knowledge of contingent facts, and it suggests a way to supplement imagination in order to get such knowledge.

Read full paper here.

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