Unpacking the boxes: the cognitive theory of imagination and aesthetics

Stock, Kathleen (2011) Unpacking the boxes: the cognitive theory of imagination and aesthetics. In: Schellekens, E and Goldie, P (eds.) The Aesthetic Mind: Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford University Press, pp.268-282. ISBN 9780199691517

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Recently a new approach to the imagination has emerged, sometimes labelled the ‘cognitive theory’ of imagination. It is rooted in cognitive psychology, and presented as able to do much that other approaches cannot. In particular, it is said to offer new solutions to problems in aesthetics. In this paper, I’ll examine to what extent this is true. I will argue that, despite the way it is often presented, the theory does not attract any special credibility in virtue of its model of explanation; and, more seriously, that the case for two of its central tenets remains underdeveloped. I shall also argue that the purported explanatory benefits brought to one traditional problem in aesthetics by the theory are in fact limited. The threat to ‘traditional’ philosophy of imagination remains unproven.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Kathleen Stock
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:27
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2012 11:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20689
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