David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):369–386 (2006)
How is it possible to respond emotionally to that which we believe is not the case? All of the many responses to this "paradox of fiction" make one or more of three important mistakes: (1) neglecting the context of believing, (2) assuming that belief is an all-or-nothing affair, and (3) assuming that if you believe that p then you cannot also reasonably believe that not-p. My thesis is that we react emotionally to stories because we do believe what stories tell us – not fictionally-believe, not make-believe, but believe in the ordinary way in which we believe anything at all.
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