Conference: Exploring the Mind’s Eye – An Interdisciplinary Conference on Imagination

Imagination is at the center of contemporary debates in the philosophy of mind. The ontological status of mental imagery, the epistemological status of imagined possibilities, and the relationship between imaginative ability and the subjective knowledge of one’s experiences are all rigorously debated. Likewise, the nature and function of imagination is an important and lively area of research in neuroscience and developmental psychology. Previous research focused on the so-called “imagery dispute” between the pictorialists and the descriptionalists. Interest in the neuroscience of imagination has been renewed in recent years, in part because of empirical research on Aphantasia (i.e. lack of voluntary mental imagery). That condition raises new and substantial questions about the neurology, psychology and philosophy of imagination. In this interdisciplinary conference, we aim to provide a platform where prominent scholars can share, discuss and develop their views and theories in the light of the most recent developments in the philosophical and scientific research on imagination.

Host institution: Bilkent University

Host departments: Philosophy, Neuroscience & Psychology

Organized by the Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Group at Bilkent University


Conference website: click here.

Conference photos: click here.

Conference videos: these will be posted here shortly.



Conference Program:

Friday, October 25

09:00 – 09:50 Coffee

09:50 – 10:00 Welcome

10:00 – 11:00 Margot Strohminger (Oxford, Philosophy)

“Supposition, Imagination and Offline Belief”
Commentator: Istvan Aranyosi (Bilkent, Philosophy)

11:10 – 12:10 Kourken Michaelian (Université Grenoble Alpes, Philosophy)

“Imagining the Past Reliably and Unreliably: What’s Next for the Simulation Theory of Episodic Memory?”
Commentator: Nazım Keven (Bilkent, Philosophy)

12:10 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 – 14:30 Adam Zeman (Exeter, Psychology)

“The Eye’s Mind – Perspectives on Visual Imagery”
Commentator: Michelle Adams (Bilkent, Psychology/ Neuroscience)

14:40 – 15:40 Bence Nanay (Antwerp & Cambridge, Philosophy)

“There is No Such Thing as Imagination” (aka “Bence Imagination Nanay”)
Commentator: Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi University, Philosophy)

15:50 – 16:50 Amy Kind (Claremont McKenna College, Philosophy)

“Contrast or Continuum? The Case of Belief and Imagination”
Commentator: Bill Wringe (Bilkent, Philosophy)

Saturday, October 26

09:30 – 10:00 Coffee

10:00 – 11:00 Tufan Kıymaz (Bilkent, Philosophy)

“The Ability Hypothesis: What is it to Know an Experience?”
Commentator: Mehtap Doğan (Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Philosophy)

11:10 – 12:10 Deena Weisberg (Villanova, Psychology)

“From Fiction to Reality: What Can We Learn from Stories?”
Commentator: Hande Ilgaz (Bilkent, Philosophy)

12:10 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 – 14:30 Anna Abraham (Leeds Beckett University, Psychology)

“A Neurophilosophical Approach to the Imagination”
Commentator: Christopher Brown (Bilkent, Philosophy)

14:40 – 15:40 David Papineau (CUNY Graduate Center & KCL, Philosophy)

“Self-Knowledge of Sensory States”
Commentator: Erhan Demircioğlu (Koç University, Philosophy)

16:00 – 18:30 Poster session


Printable Program: Click here



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