What Is Imagination?

Session Date: 
Jun 1, 2018
Speakers: 
One of the traits we attribute to differentiating our particular version of humanity from the rest of the realm of sentience is our “imagination”. The particular capabilities and operations of our imagination shape the behaviors that have allowed homo sapiens to create our anthropic era. But what is “imagination”? Imagination is one of those mushy terms that can be used to describe so many things that it ends up meaning almost nothing. Considering how imagination operates as a cognitive phenomenon that creates a cohesive version of reality might give us a basis to consider how the reality that we think we live in differs from that of other non-human entities. This consideration of the imaginations fundamental role in humanities conceptions can also illuminate how we create knowledge about things that are beyond our ability to experience them – whether this is about far off places, or far off time, both in the future and in the past, such as at the origin of humanity.