April 21, 2012

Conceptual blending, imagination, and other people

This nice, short talk about the power of imagination includes a number of concrete examples for what I have termed sedimentation of unreality into reality. Conceptual blending is the operative term; this means that some perception of physical reality blends with an abstract idea to generate something imaginary, which is then treated as real. (In addition to what I have called sedimentation, this notion is also related to Colin McGinn's discussion of imaginative seeing in the third chapter of Mindsight.[1])

In the second part of the talk, he gives a number of examples for how our imagination shapes (and often generates) our idea of other people. (This is what I have also identified in my book as one of he main functions of imagination.) Again, some good illustrations of how such ideas sediment into reality subsequently.
[1] Colin McGinn, Mindsight. Image, Dream, Meaning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2004, 48–55.

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