Mindsight: Image, Dream, Meaning

Mindsight: Image, Dream, Meaning

by Colin McGinn

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Overview

How to imagine the imagination is a topic that draws philosophers the way flowers draw honeybees. From Plato and Aristotle to Wittgenstein and Sartre, philosophers have talked and written about this most elusive of topics—that is, until contemporary analytic philosophy of mind developed. Perhaps it is the vast range of the topic that has scared off our contemporaries, ranging as it does from mental images to daydreams.

The guiding thread of this book is the distinction Colin McGinn draws between perception and imagination. Clearly, seeing an object is similar in certain respects to forming a mental image of it, but it is also different. McGinn shows what the differences are, arguing that imagination is a sui generis mental faculty. He goes on to discuss the nature of dreaming and madness, contending that these are primarily imaginative phenomena. In the second half of the book McGinn focuses on what he calls cognitive (as opposed to sensory) imagination, and investigates the role of imagination in logical reasoning, belief formation, the understanding of negation and possibility, and the comprehension of meaning. His overall claim is that imagination pervades our mental life, obeys its own distinctive principles, and merits much more attention.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674022478
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 09/30/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Colin McGinn is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami. He is the author of many books, including Consciousness and Its Objects and The Character of Mind.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Images and Percepts

2. The Mind's Eye

3. Imaginative Seeing

4. The Space of Imagery

5. The Picture Theory of Images

6. What Are Dreams?

7. Dream Belief

8. Delusion

9. The Imagination of the Child

10. Cognitive Imagination

11. Negation

12. Meaning

13. The Imagination Spectrum

Notes

Bibliography

Index

What People are Saying About This

McGinn's book is first rate, manifesting all the qualities of incisive argument, original thought and clear, direct, lively, pithy writing for which he is celebrated.

Ram Neta

This book contains the most innovative and important work that Colin McGinn has done in the course of his distinguished career. It has the potential to be an extraordinarily influential book, and to create, almost single-handedly, a new area of systematic study in analytic philosophy of mind: the philosophy of the imagination. Work done in this new area could provide a foundation for work done in many other areas, including the epistemology of perception, the metaphysics of intentionality, the scientific understanding of dreaming, psychosis, and the creativity of our linguistic abilities.
Ram Neta, Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina

Malcolm Budd

McGinn's book is first rate, manifesting all the qualities of incisive argument, original thought and clear, direct, lively, pithy writing for which he is celebrated.
Malcolm Budd, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, University College London

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