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Title: Imagining and reasoning : an attempt to define a clear conceptual distinction between two cognitive strategies available for the manipulation of information.
Author: Williams, Bryn Rhys.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3568 7963
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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In this study, I attempt to identify a distinct role for the imagination in manipulating and organising information states. To this end, I begin with an exegesis of Aristotle's account of phantasia in De Anima. I argue against two established views of the nature of Aristotle's phantasia-the view that phantasia is merely a faculty for apprehending appearances, and the view that it is a special catch all faculty for having "non-paradigmatic sensory experiences". I then continue to argue that for Aristotle, phantasia was a distinct faculty that discriminates between experiences by virtue of recognition. Once I have established the plausibility of such a position, I move from consideration of Aristotle's idea of phantasia to an account of recent evidence provided by cognitive science for distinguishing a capacity for manipulating information which is recognition based, and conceptually distinct from reason, or "theory-driven" thought. To this end, I appeal to evidence concerning the nature of spatial reasoning, and provide an exhaustive account of the "Imagery Debate" as paradigmatic of non-theory driven cognitive capacities. Finally, I provide an account of the mechanisms that underlie the efficacy and domain of non-theory driven thought by appeal to two explanatory resources: Simulation theory, and idea of a "cognitive map".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Aristotle; De Anima