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The sensory component of imagination: the motor theory of imagination as a present-day solution to Sartre's critique

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Several recent accounts claim that imagination is a matter of simulating perceptual acts. Although this point of view receives support from both phenomenological and empirical research, I claim that Jean-Paul Sartre' s worry formulated in L' imagination (1936) still holds. For a number of reasons, Sartre heavily criticizes theories in which the sensory material of imaginative acts consists in reviving sensory impressions. Based on empirical and philosophical insights, this article explains how simulation theories of imagination can overcome Sartre' s critique by paying attention to the motor dimension of imagination. Intending to clarify the status of the sensory in imagination, a motor theory of imagination is presented in which the sensory component of imagination is interpreted in terms of anticipated sensory consequences of preparation for motor action.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Pages (from-to)503-520
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2012

ID: 10333116