The Evolution of Imagination

Talk by Professor Stephen T. Asma, Columbia College Chicago

2017.08.22 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Fri 13 Oct
Time 10:00 12:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312, 8000 Aarhus C


Imagination is a major part of our inner lives. Indeed, it makes up a “second universe” inside our heads. We invent animals and events that don’t exist, we rerun history with alternative outcomes, we envision social and moral utopias, revel in fantasy art, and meditate on what we could have been and what we might become.

Guided by neuroscience, animal behavior, evolution, philosophy, and psychology, Dr. Stephen Asma burrows deep into the human psyche to look right at the enigmatic but powerful engine that is our improvisational creativity—the source of our remarkable imaginational capacity. Imagination is neither a miraculous muse, nor a mechanical module of the mind. Instead, Asma argues, it is one of our earliest forms of embodied cognition.



Professor Stephen Asma, Humanities, History and Social Sciences
Columbia College Chicago