8 Responses to The Sociological Imagination: Thinking Outside ..

In support of a version of the orthodox view, Colin McGinn (2004)has argued that, although dreams do involve mental imagery rather thanperceptual experiences, they may also involve belief. He arguesthis partly on the grounds that dreams often involve a deep emotionalengagement that is absent from both imagination and daydreaming, yetcharacteristic of belief (97–8). He proposes what he calls thefictional immersion theory of dreaming (103–4), according towhich dreams are like fictions where we become so deeply engaged thatwe ‘lose ourselves’ and thereby form (admittedly atypical)beliefs. (For related discussion, see 5.3 below.)

Sociological Imagination | Definition and Discussion
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The notion of desire-like imagination (Currie 1990, 2002;Velleman 2000) or i-desire (Doggett and Egan 2007) has beeninvoked to explain two phenomena: the generation of behaviors inimaginary contexts, and the apparent existence of desires evoked byfictions. According to such accounts, if I'm pretending to beCleopatra, it is my desire-like imagining that I be with Antony, inconjunction with my belief-like imagining that you are Antony, thatleads me to take actions such as embracing you. Relatedly, on suchaccounts, just as I may imagine that Romeo and Juliet both die (andthus imagine something about them in a belief-like way), I may also‘want’ them to go on living (and thus imagine somethingabout them in a desire-like way.)

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Sociological imagination - Wikipedia
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More recently, Jonathan Ichikawa (2009) and Ernest Sosa (2005; 2007)have denied that dreaming involves believing. Rather, they argue,dreaming is a form of imagining. Ichikawa, expanding onwork by Sosa, observes that the dream-analogues of beliefs do notbehave like normal beliefs: dream ‘beliefs’ are not relatedto perceptual experience or to behavior in ways that waking beliefsare; and dream ‘beliefs’ are subject to radical shifts inways that waking beliefs are not. Thus, they contend, our relation tothe contents of our dreams is one of imagination, not belief. (See alsoMalcolm 1959; Dennett 1976.) Sosa claims (2005; 2007) and Ichikawadenies (2008) that this reconstrual fully blunts the force of theCartesian dreaming argument.