Vividness and Mental Imagery Research


Vividness is a central theoretical construct in recent studies on individual differences in the experience of voluntary mental imagery. Individual differences are largely understood as differences in the vividness of imagery experiences. Nevertheless, there is no broadly agreed upon interpretation of ‘vividness’. Some philosophers have responded by offering analyses of ‘vividness’ that they argue will be useful in mental imagery research. Others argue that the notion should be abandoned. I argue that – as they are currently developed – both responses rely on a view of imagery that is unhelpfully visuo-centric and conceives of visual experience/imagery as unrealistically static and uniformly ‘vivid’ (however construed). By taking a more realistic look at imagery experiences, I identify previously overlooked dimensions of variation in imagery and refine those that have been noted. The result is a fine-grained set of dimensions for assessing individual differences in mental imagery that improves upon ‘vividness’ and the previous analyses of it. I briefly discuss some collaborative empirical work drawing on these dimensions, which is currently ongoing. I then turn to the potential benefits of such work for philosophical theorizing about the role of imagery in our mental lives. I conclude by revisiting the prospects for a reductive analysis of ‘vividness’ in terms of these dimensions.

Event Details

0 people are interested in this event

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 959 9305 2158

Passcode: 902163


User Activity

No recent activity