‘Knowledge By Imagination — How Imaginative Experiences Can Ground Factual Knowledge’ (2016)

Teorema, vol. XXXV, pp. 87-116, 2016.

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Abstract

In this article, I defend the view that we can acquire factual knowledge – that is, contingent propositional knowledge about certain (perceivable) aspects of reality – on the basis of imaginative experience. More specifically, I argue that, under suitable circumstances, imaginative experiences can rationally determine the propositional content of knowledge-constituting beliefs – though not their attitude of belief – in roughly the same way as perceptual experiences do in the case of perceptual knowledge. I also highlight some philosophical consequences of this conclusion, especially for the issue of whether imagination can help us to learn something from fictions.