A/Prof Jennifer McMahon

A/Prof Jennifer McMahon

University of Adelaide

What we assume about imagination when we treat art as insightful

San Francisco Workshop, Sunday April 3rd, all day session

I argue that if we assume that art is insightful and furthermore that it is insightful in virtue of the imaginative engagement it evokes, then imagination must satisfy certain conditions. Not only must imagination involve entertaining possibilities, augmenting what is before the senses and intervening in the trajectories of thought, but imaginings must be able to influence thought and behaviour even when not consciously held (non-occurrent) and as such, impinge on belief. I explain how impinging on belief might be envisaged so that it need not remain too vague an idea to have explanatory power as some have objected.