Imagination, embodiment and situatedness
using Husserl to dispel (some) notions of "off-line thinking'
After cognitive science's early "iconophobia', imagination research has grown into what has been described as a "flourishing' field of investigation. This relatively recent phenomenon happens to coincide, more or less, with the arrival of "a new way of thinking about the mind and things mental that has started to seep out of the ivory tower and set up residence in popular consciousness" (Rowlands M, The new science of the mind. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, p 1, 2010). What is meant is a new model of the mind, the model of "situated cognition', which I take to comprise "e mbedded', "e nactive', "e mbodied' and/or "e xtended' theories of cognition. Yet, crossovers between the two exciting developments are rare. Imagination does not lend itself, or so it seems, to a situated account. In what follows I propose that serious challenges notwithstanding, there are also reasons to think that these may not be insurmountable, at least not for all features of imagination. With the help of Husserl's phenomenological analysis of "phantasy' ("Phantasie'), i.e., sensory imagination, I highlight some of those aspects and begin to show how they might be accommodated by some strands (some e 's) of situated cognition. Imagination, I argue, is not as "off-line' as it might first appear.
Jansen, J. (2013)., Imagination, embodiment and situatedness: using Husserl to dispel (some) notions of "off-line thinking', in D. Moran (ed.), The phenomenology of embodied subjectivity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 63-79.
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