Imagination and Knowledge
28 & 29 September 2017
University of Konstanz
Y-Building, Room Y311


That imagination as a representational capacity plays a distinctive role in our cognitive architecture is a traditional philosophical thought. However, whether and how imagination can give us knowledge about the external world is a disputed issue. If one is to believe Wittgenstein, then imagination may tell us something about the experiencing subject, but not about the external world. By contrast, the more and more philosophers are defending the view that we can acquire knowledge by using imagination. In this workshop we want to focus on the question of how this is possible and examine the different ways in which imagination gives us knowledge. This brings to consider issues about the conditions for knowledge by imagination. Is knowledge acquired via imagination the same sort of knowledge acquired by different means, e.g. perception or judgment? Can imagination alone really ground knowledge? Hence, the aim of the workshop is also to consider how imagination relates to other mental phenomena. Last but not least, we will consider the relevance of the idea that there are different species of imagination to the view that imaginings can have epistemic value.


  • Amy Kind, Department of Philosophy, Claremont McKenna College, US
  • Chris Gauker, Department of Philosophy, University of Salzburg, Austria
  • Bruno Leclercq, Department of Philosophy, University of Liège, Belgium
  • Dominic Gregory, Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Magdalena Balcerak-Jackson, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, US
  • Margot Strohminger, Humboldt Research Fellow, Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Mike Stuart, SSHRC Postdoctoral fellow, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics, UK
  • Julia Langkau, SNSF Ambizione Fellow, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Jérôme Dokic, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales – Institut Jean-Nicod, France
  • Andrea Lailach, Zukunftskolleg-Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz, Germany


  • Andrea Lailach, University of Konstanz
  • Margherita Arcangeli, Humboldt University of Berlin