Pathos is something I find interesting; I’d consider the use of Thought Experiments, which are very heavily used in many of the Sciences (although oddly enough, seemingly absent from Chemistry, or so I’ve read) – as Pathos.
But there a level of Pathos that you’re describing that, even still, seems to go beyond imagination of experience and into actual experience.
[not that imagination isn’t actual.. but there is a palpable “something” that happens when you are carried along, not logically, not emotionally or imagination, not impressed by power… but something beyond.. or perhaps it is more of a facet of Pathos that’s seems… different.
Doing something for its own sake; it is play at its purest form, imo.
I tend to believe that all knowledge can be simplified to play of various sorts. The games are extended and spread out… and by-yourself-play of tossing a ball up and catching it yourself, or tossing ideas around your own head are the same. The shape of the ball may change; but the hand-that-catches is.. perhaps the Substantia nigra