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Cambridge Festival: Imagining Things

Video Recording by Henry Shevlin

Imagining Things. A presentation given by Ali Boyle and chaired by Henry Shevlin.

Join philosopher Ali Boyle to explore why we imagine, and learn how you can harness the power of your imagination to ‘hack’ your memory by building a mind palace – just like Sherlock. In your imagination, you can explore the whole world without ever leaving your chair. You can even explore possible futures and alternate realities. When you think about it, this is extraordinary: why do we have minds that can wander so far from the here and now? And where did this ability come from? Researchers increasingly think that our ability to imagine things is intimately connected to our capacity to remember the past – and that the line between imagination and memory may be blurrier than we naturally think. At this event, join philosopher Ali Boyle to explore the origins of the imagination and discover how you can use the power of imagination to ‘hack’ your memories, using a technique used by everyone from the Ancient Greeks to Sherlock Holmes to today’s ‘memory champions’ – by storing them in an imaginary ‘mind palace’.
Audience: Adults; young adults 12+
This presentation was part of the new, interdisciplinary Cambridge Festival (replacing the Cambridge Science Festival and the Cambridge Festival of Ideas) which took from 26 March to 4 April 2021. The festival was primarily digital in 2021 – to enable wide-reaching engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download Video Recording