The imagination between the natural sciences and fiction: a Humean perspective



David Hume, Imagination, Natural Sciences, Fiction


Abstract: According to David Hume the imagination is a mental faculty that forms, unites and separates ideas. This creative character puts it in a position to play a major role not only in fiction — once it’s due to the imagination that we conceive fantastic creatures like dragons and winged horses —, but also in the natural sciences — once it’s due to the imagination that we suppose that the course of nature remains the same through time. My objectives in this paper are to introduce the vocabulary that Hume elaborated in the Treatise of Human Nature and argue that the imagination operates by irregular and regular principles, culminating in the generation of beliefs that have a negative and positive epistemic status, respectively.

Keywords: David Hume, Imagination, Natural Sciences, Fiction.


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