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  • Cited by 8

Book description

The human imagination manifests in countless different forms. We imagine the possible and the impossible. How do we do this so effortlessly? Why did the capacity for imagination evolve and manifest with undeniably manifold complexity uniquely in human beings? This handbook reflects on such questions by collecting perspectives on imagination from leading experts. It showcases a rich and detailed analysis on how the imagination is understood across several disciplines of study, including anthropology, archaeology, medicine, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and the arts. An integrated theoretical-empirical-applied picture of the field is presented, which stands to inform researchers, students, and practitioners about the issues of relevance across the board when considering the imagination. With each chapter, the nature of human imagination is examined – what it entails, how it evolved, and why it singularly defines us as a species.


'This edited volume offers a unique combination of neuroscientific, philosophical, psychological, anthropological, and historical perspectives on imagination. All the contributors are acknowledged masters of their respective disciplines, as well as excellent writers to boot, which makes this handbook an indispensable resource for anyone interested in this fascinating subject.'

Elkhonon Goldberg - Clinical Professor, New York University School of Medicine

'This is a fantastic contribution to research on imagination. The activity of imagining is invoked across a large range of otherwise diverse human activities; it’s therefore crucial that researchers from different backgrounds talk to each other about it. This book is a rich conversation from which anyone interested in the imagination will learn a lot.'

Kathleen Stock - University of Sussex

'Anna Abraham’s ‘neurophilosophical’ approach cultivates a holistic understanding of imagination across cultures and disciplines. Her five-fold framework provides a space for academic and applied approaches to meet, thereby bringing the ‘force of imagination’ to centre stage.'

Gerald Cupchik - University of Toronto

'This handbook is an essential resource written by leading experts in their respective fields from across the world. Each chapter showcases a rich and detailed analysis about how the imagination is understood across several disciplines of study, including anthropology, archaeology, medicine, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and the arts.'

Scott Barry Kaufman - University of Pennsylvania

'No other handbook has collected contributions from philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists of imagination in one place. In doing so, this comprehensive work promises a perspective on the imagination that transcends disciplinary perspectives and boundaries. As such, it will surely be a resource for scholars of imagination for years to come.'

Shen-yi Liao - University of Puget Sound, Washington

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