I have recently completed work on two research grants:
Emmy-Noether Research Group “Understanding and the A Priori” (2009 - 2015)
(with Brendan Balcerak Jackson, sponsored by the DFG)
Zukunftskolleg Project “Imagination and Reasoning” (2013 - 2018, ended in 2015 to take up a Professorship at the University of Miami)
The project develops a novel, positive account of the epistemic value of imagination in non-empirical enquiry. It does so by bringing together ideas about the nature and function of imagination as a cognitive capacity and ideas about the methodology of hypothetical reasoning. On the view developed here, imagination is a recreative capacity that aims to take up the first-person perspective of a subject undergoing corresponding mental states such as perceptions or beliefs. The fact that this capacity is under our voluntary control allows us to put it to use in a variety of non-empirical methods of enquiry. Thus while on traditional views imagination has, at most, a heuristic value, on the view developed here imagination provides us with a priori justification for substantive truths.