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Seeing the FutureTheoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel$
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Kourken Michaelian, Stanley B. Klein, and Karl K. Szpunar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190241537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190241537.001.0001

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Temporal Perspectives In Imagination

Temporal Perspectives In Imagination

On the Nature and Value of Imagining the Future

(p.217) 11 Temporal Perspectives In Imagination
Seeing the Future

Dorothea Debus

Oxford University Press

Chapter 11 considers a specific form of future-directed mental time travel, namely cases in which one sensorily imagines (or “S-imagines”) future events, that is, cases in which a subject’s imagination of a future event has experiential characteristics. It addresses two questions: (1) How can one account for the nature of cases in which subjects S-imagine future events? (2) What is the value of the ability to S-imagine future events? The author shows how one can account for the specific temporal orientation of S-imaginations of future events, and develops the claim that from the subject’s own point of view at the time of S-imagining a future event, the future is open. The author shows that the ability to S-imagine future events can have great instrumental value or disvalue, because subjects can, and sometimes do, put their ability to S-imagine future events to good or bad use and can thereby shape the future for the better, or for the worse.

Keywords:   imagination, future, future-directed mental time travel, imagination, experiential

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