François Recanati

Research Fellow
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, France

Imagination and the Self

Thursday, March 28, 2018 at 7:00pm

Kislak Center
Otto G. Richter Library, 1300 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Free & Open to the Public‌  |  Registration Required



In this talk Recanati will discuss the ways in which the imagining subject is involved in his or her imaginings. The surprising conclusion he will draw is that, in some cases of subjective imagination, the self is not involved at all; it follows that imagination is not a "reflexive state," in contrast to perception or memory. This is somewhat paradoxical because subjective imagination, or imagination "from inside," bears the hallmarks of a first personal state. The paradox can be alleviated, however, by adverting to the role simulation plays in imaginative episodes.

“[Recanati's Literal Meaning] is extremely valuable for the important issues it raises with respect to the architecture of linguistic theory, for its clear and intelligent discussion of them, for its thorough comparison of some of the most influential contemporary approaches to meaning, and not least for the further reflections it may inspire in the reader.”
— Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen, Journal of Pragmatics

François Recanati is a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. In addition to his position at CNRS, he is a "directeur d’études" at EHESS, and the Director of a research lab in philosophy, linguistics and cognitive science hosted by Ecole Normale Supérieure. His numerous publications in the philosophy of language and mind include Meaning and Force (1987), Direct Reference: From Language to Thought (1993), Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta (2000), Literal Meaning (2004), Perspectival Thought (2007), Philosophie du langage (et de l’esprit) (2008), Truth-Conditional Pragmatics (2010) and Mental Files (2012). He is a co-founder and past President of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy, and was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. In 2014 he was awarded the CNRS Silver Medal and was made a honorary doctor of the University of Stockholm.


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