Imaginative Minds: Concepts, Controversies and Themes (Proceedings of the British Academy v. 147)
By: Ilona Roth (editor)Hardback
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Imagination is one of the most distinctive characteristics of human thought. The supreme powers of flexibility, supposition and inventiveness that are its hallmarks, whether in science, technology, business or the visual, literary and performing arts, are highly prized in contemporary societies. Yet in the fields of psychology and cognitive science, where we might expect to find the topic 'centre-stage', there has been comparatively little work. This volumes addresses this omission by bringing together the theories and methods of these disciplines with other perspectives offering important insights into the imagination. The 15 chapters address key questions about the imaginative workings of the mind, including how the capacity for imagination evolved, how it is expressed and what roles it plays in children's thinking, what psychological processes and brain mechanisms are involved, and how imagination operates in universal cultural phenomena such as music, fiction and religion, which are both the fruits of and the 'fuel' for imaginative minds.
The exceptional interdisciplinary scope of the volume, and its exploration and juxtaposition of different forms of imaginative cognition, offer an engaging and innovative take on the topic, bringing together approaches from psychology, cognitive science, anthropology and evolutionary studies with philosophy and the humanities. Distinguished contributors demonstrate their own imaginative flair in a fascinating and varied collection of essays about this most elusive and special human capacity.
INTRODUCTION ; Imaginative Minds: Concepts, Controversies and Themes, Ilona Roth ; EVOLUTION OF THE IMAGINATION ; Seven Steps in the Evolution of the Human Imagination ; Great ape cognition and the evolutionary roots of human imagination ; Memes, minds and imagination ; DEVELOPMENT OF IMAGINATION IN CHILDREN ; Autonomy and control in children's interactions with imaginary companions ; Imagination and testimony in cognitive development: the cautious disciple? ; MIND INTO CULTURE: PERSPECTIVES ON MUSICAL IMAGINATION ; Imagining things: mind into music (and back again) ; Music Science and Culture ; IMAGINATION, COGNITION AND CREATIVE THINKING ; A claim on the reader ; Mental Imagery and Creative Synthesis ; The way we imagine ; COGNITIVE ARCHITECTURE OF THE IMAGINATION ; Specialised inference engines as precursors of creative imagination? ; A module for metaphor? The site of imagination in the architecture of the mind ; ATYPICAL IMAGINATION AND BRAIN MECHANISMS ; Autism and the imaginative mind ; Imaging Imagination: Brain Scanning of the Imagined Future
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