Melvin Chen

Melvin Chen

Nanyang Technological University

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Down the Rabbit Hole: A More Skeptical Look at CI

Adelaide Workshop 2017

The cognitive theory of the imagination is an approach to the imagination that claims to inherit the prestige and relevance of science, possess general methodological advantages over traditional philosophy and folk psychology and be able to do some serious explanatory work with respect to imagination-related psychological phenomena. What if, however, there might be skeptical grounds to resist the claims of the cognitive theorist of the imagination? In this paper, I will take a more skeptical look at the cognitive theory of the imagination, with a view to identifying key problems that I take to hold for any cognitive theorist of the imagination. Given these problems, I will conclude further and on behalf of the skeptic about the cognitive theory of the imagination that the presumed threat to traditional philosophy, with respect to providing an explanation for imagination-related psychological phenomena, remains unproven. Indeed, it would appear that we would have good skeptical grounds to maintain that cognitive science cannot leave off philosophical reflection in the manner that many of its adherents believe it can.