Imagination in Inquiry: A Philosophical Model and Its Applications investigates the nature, kinds, component elements, functions, scope, and uses of the imagination involved in inquiry. It further discusses how these kinds and functions vary and interact depending on the context of inquiries carried out in philosophy and its branches—from the philosophy of science and the philosophy of technology to ethics, sociopolitical philosophy, and aesthetics—and institutions like science, technology, art, and education. Using a homeostatic model, A. Pablo Iannone advances a conception of the imagination as a disposition to search for answers to various types of problems, abstract or concrete, theoretical or practical faced in inquiry. The book treats this as a working characterization, though it develops progressively clearer, more precise, and less ambiguous meanings. All along, the primary concern of the author—as well as of contributors Alejandra Iannone and Rocci Luppicini—is with the moral, aesthetic, logical, communicative, scientific, technological, artistic, literary, and philosophical uses and roles of the imagination. The book’s primary focus is not just on such things as the capacity to generate mental images, but especially on the ability to discover and create, anticipate and envision, entertain and manage.
A. Pablo Iannone is emeritus professor of philosophy at Central Connecticut State University.
Part I: Conceptualizations
Chapter One: A Conceptual Cartography of Inquiry, the Imagination, and their Interconnected Roles
Chapter Two: Dynamics of the Imagination
Chapter Three: The Imagination’s Elements: Motives, Abilities, Circumstances, Instruments, and Functions
Chapter Four: The Interactive Imagination
Part II: The Imagination: Philosophical And Practical
Chapter Five: The Philosophical Imagination
Chapter Six: Wonder, Reason, and the Imagination in Philosophical Inquiry Contrasted with Inquiry in Art, Literature, and Science
Chapter Seven: Inquiry and the Imagination’s Balancing Act
Chapter Eight: Basic Philosophical Attitudes and the Imagination
Part III: Comparative Assessments
Chapter Nine: Feedback Loops, Today's World, and the Practical Imagination
Chapter Ten: Analogies and Disanalogies between the Roles of the Imagination in Inquiries in Philosophy, the Arts, Sciences, Other Branches of Inquiry, and Everyday Life
Part IV: Applications and Tests of This Book’s Model
Chapter Eleven: Speech Acts, the Exercise of Logic, and the Imagination in Inquiry
Chapter Twelve: The Imagination, Humor, and a Sense of Humor
Chapter Thirteen: The Imagination, and the Mixed Gift of Vision in Individual and Social Life
Chapter Fourteen: Inquiry and The Imagination in Moral Decision Making
Part V: The Imagination, Current Developments, and Future Prospects in Art and the Digital World
Chapter Fifteen: Imagining Dance Mash-Ups: A Practice-based Inquiry
Chapter Sixteen: Expanding Youth Ballet Education with Web-hosted Video Post-COVID
Chapter Seventeen: The Imagination in Technology-Ethics: The Factual, the Virtual, and the Fictional: Imagination, Appreciation, and the Open-Ended Domain of Cultural Expressions in the Digital World
Chapter Eighteen: The Imagination in Technology-Aesthetics
Pablo Iannone illuminates a homeostatic conception of the imagination that is heuristically engaged as a self-correcting approach to problem solving. His analysis does not dismiss the customary way in which we think of the imagination as the capacity to fantasize; it carefully reveals the cognitive vitality of imaginative inquiry and the search for practical problem solving that requires the level of attention prescribed in Aristotle’s evaluation of practical wisdom as the core intellectual virtue. Whether it is the use of model formation and the gathering of information in psychology, sociology or practicing and being theoretically attuned to ethics or the evolving area of a process-oriented and image-producing techno-aesthetics, Iannone argues that when we are cognitively engaged in symbolic thinking or non-linguistic forms of comparative analysis across the disciplines our imaginations are cybernetically and ecologically poised to solve practical problems.
A novel philosophical approach to the imagination, one of the most neglected topics in the literature. Iannonne's treatment of it is wide ranging. He masterfully explores the many aspects of the imagination from the perspectives of practical and theoretical philosophy, literature, and the arts -- without leaving out its role in science and technology.
Iannone's work has always been remarkable for crossing disciplinary boundaries, and that is especially true in this work. Nothing this deep on polyvalent functions of imagination and its role in philosophy has appeared in years. It is a neglected subject, but Dr. Iannone's analysis shows how imagination -- in distinct but related senses -- assists in practical problem-solving and in holistic understanding across several domains of reasoning, art, and life. This work will be essential for any future philosophical scholarship on imagination.
Pablo Iannone’s Imagination and Inquiry is a very imaginative, engaging inquiry into the various modes of imagination in a wide range of forms of inquiry, whether practical, theoretical, diagnostic or artistic, from immediate individual problem solving or response to unexpected circumstances. Through informal to more formal social practices and inquiries, including interpersonal communication, natural and social sciences, mathematics and AI. Lucid, esoteric, patient and clearly articulated, Iannone writes with keen philosophical eyes for a broad audience, inducing (inter alia) philosophers, psychologists, sociologists and policy makers to reconsider and reassess the range of modes of imagination and their roles in inquiry, developing throughout the book an integrated, novel ‘heuristic homeostatic’ model of how imagination functions in these manifold forms, contexts and uses. Iannone’s inquiry is designed to encourage and facilitate multi-disciplinary inquiries so that we can conjoin our skills, knowledge, expertise and skills constructively to address the broad range of issues, both ‘pure’ and applied, confronting us today, to which no single discipline suffices.