Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bogazici: Radu Bogdan (Tulane) on “Imagination: Roots and Reasons.” 24/05/2013

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Radu Bogdan (Tulane) will give a talk on Friday, May 24th, from 5-7pm in TB130:

“Imagination: Roots and Reasons.”

Radu Bogdan is a professor of philosophy of and director of the cognitive science program at Tulane university. He is the author of numerous articles and five books: Our Own Minds: Sociocultural Grounds for Self-Consciousness (MIT, 2010), Predicative Minds: The Social Ontogeny of Propositional Thinking (MIT 2009), Minding Minds (MIT, 2003), Interpreting Minds (MIT, 2003) and Grounds for Cognition (Psychology Press, 1994).

ABSTRACT: The human mind is able consciously, deliberately and reflectivey to vault itself cognitively out of the enclosure of  current perception, motivation, emotion and action, and leap over to future or past or possible or even impossible facts, situations or scenarios. This is what imagination (in a strong, suppositional, propositional sense) does.The central argument is that imagination is uniquely human,  with no apparent precursors in the animal world. This is one evolutionary puzzle. Furthermore, the capacities to imagine do not seem to have dedicated genetic bases or specialized brain sites, do not operate as modules, and are domain versatile. It is also not obvious what specific pressures in what specific domains may have selected for imagining, which is why the standard explanation by gradual natural selection is unlikely to work. The way out of these puzzles is to reorient the evolutionary analysis toward human ontogeny, regarded as a genuine space of evolution, with its specific and often dated pressures and its adaptive responses. Imagination results from ontogenetic responses to the mostly sociocultural and sociopolitical pressures of later childhood.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

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