RUB Research School

The situatedness of imagination

The Research Project

My project aims to develop a philosophical account of the situatedness of “experiential imagination” (Peacocke 1985; Walton 1990; Dokic and Arcangeli 2015), using the phenomenological analysis (Husserl 2001, 2005; Sartre, 2004; Casey, 2000) to clarify the nature of imagination and investigate its epistemic powers and constraints.

By offering phenomenological clarifications to the analytic philosophy of imagination, the goal is to contribute to current debates on imaginative immersion (Schellenberg 2013; Liao and Doggett 2014; Chasid 2017, 2021), the nature of the imaginative content (Tye 1991; Kind 2001, 2016; Abraham 2020), and thought experiments (Brown 1991; Norton 1996; Gendler 2000, 2010; Hopp 2014; Wiltsche 2018). Through these contributions, I will give an original perspective on the relationship between imagination and knowledge.

Along the lines of the aforementioned philosophical debates, I will develop the notion of situatedness of imagination by answering the following research questions: (1) Once we have defined imagination, how can we account for the role of our body and self in it? In other words, to what extent is imagination situated in our body? (2) What are the epistemic constraints on the representational content of our imagination? (3) What is the role of imagination in our epistemological practices (e.g. thought experiment)? In what terms is it possible to derive knowledge from the imagination?

What I need the IRB for

The IRB grant will allow me to participate in international activities to promote my work and the approach of my research group (RTG Situated Cognition) and will enable me to carry out a research stay at a globally recognized research group in my field of study. These activities will expand my network of contacts internationally. Receiving feedback from experts will be crucial in advancing my skills and competences. All this will maximize the impact of my work within the international research community, which is very useful for the success of my PhD project and ideal for my future academic career.

Thanks to its flexibility, the IRB budget will allow me to speed up the organization of conference attendance and simplify my plans for the research stay.