Imagining Under Constraints
As Hume has famously claimed, we are nowhere more free than in our imagination. While this feature of the imagination suggests that the imagination has a crucial role to play in modal epistemology, it also suggests that imagining cannot provide us with any non-modal knowledge about the world in which we live. In this talk, Kind rejects this latter suggestion. Offering an account of imagining that she calls “imagining under constraints,” she provide a framework for showing when and how an imaginative project can play a justificatory role with respect to our beliefs about the world. That we can be free in our imaginings does not show that they must proceed unfettered; as Kind argues, our ability to constrain our imaginings in light of facts about the world enables us to learn from them. The important upshot is that the imagination has considerably more epistemic significance than previously thought.
Amy Kind is Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College. Having received an bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Amherst College, Professor Kind received her doctorate in philosophy from UCLA in 1997. Although she has broad interests in the philosophy of mind, most of her research centers on issues relating to phenomenal consciousness and issues relating to the imagination. Her work has appeared in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and The Philosophical Quarterly. She is currently at work on several edited collections, including The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Imagination and Knowledge Through Imagination (co-edited with Peter Kung), which is under contract with Oxford University Press. At CMC, she teaches classes in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, logic, and the philosophy of science fiction.