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On the (so-called) puzzle of imaginative resistance

In Shaun Nichols (ed.), The Architecture of the Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 137-148 (2006)

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  1. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted to essays about the interconnections between philosophy (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance.Emine Hande Tuna - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To imagine is to form a mental representation that does not aim at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own. Unlike perceiving and believing, imagining something does not require one to consider that something to be the case. Unlike desiring or anticipating, imagining something does not require one to wish or expect that something (...)
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  • Imagination.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.
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  • A Defence of Experimental Philosophy in Aesthetics.Clotilde Torregrossa - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (8):885-907.
    Although experimental philosophy is now over a decade old, it has only recently been introduced to the domain of philosophical aesthetics. So why is there already a need to defend it? Because, as I argue in this paper, we can anticipate the three main types of objection generally addressed to experimental philosophy and show that none of them concern experimental philosophers in aesthetics. I begin with some general considerations about experimental philosophy and its, sometimes conflicting, characteristics. This framework is designed (...)
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  • The Problem of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler & Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - In John Gibson & Noël Carroll (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature. Routledge. pp. 405-418.
    The problem of imaginative resistance holds interest for aestheticians, literary theorists, ethicists, philosophers of mind, and epistemologists. We present a somewhat opinionated overview of the philosophical discussion to date. We begin by introducing the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. We then review existing responses to the problem, giving special attention to recent research directions. Finally, we consider the philosophical significance that imaginative resistance has—or, at least, is alleged to have—for issues in moral psychology, theories of cognitive architecture, and modal epistemology.
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  • Imaginative Resistance, Narrative Engagement, Genre.Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):461-482.
    Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.
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  • A Sensibilist Explanation of Imaginative Resistance.Nils Franzén - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy (3):159-174.
    This article discusses why it is the case that we refuse to accept strange evaluative claims as being true in fictions, even though we are happy to go along with other types of absurdities in such contexts. For instance, we would refuse to accept the following statement as true, even in the con-text of a fiction: -/- (i) In killing her baby, Giselda did the right thing; after all, it was a girl. -/- This article offers a sensibilist diagnosis of (...)
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  • Roasting Ethics.Luvell Anderson - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 78 (4):451-464.
    ABSTRACTWhat are the rules of the comedic roast? Initially, there might seem to be a tension between “the comedic” and “roasting” or “insult.” The comedic is concerned with the funny or mirth while insults are mean-spirited in nature, tools of injury. So how can the two be combined to produce something fun? In this article, I entertain a few views that attempt a resolution of this apparent tension. I conclude with a proposal that suggests when they are successful, roasts employ (...)
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  • Fiction Unlimited.Nathan Wildman & Christian Folde - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (1):73-80.
    We offer an original argument for the existence of universal fictions—that is, fictions within which every possible proposition is true. Specifically, we detail a trio of such fictions, along with an easy-to-follow recipe for generating more. After exploring several consequences and dismissing some objections, we conclude that fiction, unlike reality, is unlimited when it comes to truth.
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  • Reality, Fiction, and Make-Believe in Kendall Walton.Emanuele Arielli - 2021 - In Krešimir Purgar (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Image Studies. pp. 363-377.
    Images share a common feature with all phenomena of imagination, since they make us aware of what is not present or what is fictional and not existent at all. From this perspective, the philosophical approach of Kendall Lewis Walton—born in 1939 and active since the 1960s at the University of Michigan—is perhaps one of the most notable contributions to image theory. Walton is an authoritative figure within the tradition of analytical aesthetics. His contributions have had a considerable influence on a (...)
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  • Questioning Imaginative Resistance and Resistant Reading.Bradford Skow - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):575-587.
    It is widely accepted that readers will resist imagining that a character in a story did something morally wrong, even if the story endorses this judgement. This paper argues, first, that readers will not resist if the question of whether that act was wrong is not salient as they read; and, second, that asking a certain question can be part of correctly appreciating a story—even if that question is not in the foreground of the story, and even if the story (...)
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  • Ethics and Imagination.Joy Shim & Shen-yi Liao - forthcoming - In James Harold (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter, we identify and present predominant debates at the intersection of ethics and imagination. We begin by examining issues on whether our imagination can be constrained by ethical considerations, such as the moral evaluation of imagination, the potential for morality’s constraining our imaginative abilities, and the possibility of moral norms’ governing our imaginings. Then, we present accounts that posit imagination’s integral role in cultivating ethical lives, both through engagements with narrative artworks and in reality. Our final topic of (...)
     
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  • Wu Song’s Killing of His Sister-in-Law: An Ethical Analysis.William Sin - 2018 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 17 (2):231-246.
    The Water Margin is a great Chinese classical novel; Wu Song’s 武松 killing of his sister-in-law, Pan Jinlian 潘金蓮, is one of the most popular episodes of the novel. It depicts Wu as the hero and defender of traditional values, and Pan as the adulterous woman. In contemporary discussion, there has been a dearth of ethical analyses regarding Wu’s killing of Pan. How should we judge the moral status of his action? Does the killing signify Wu Song’s ethical achievement or (...)
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  • The Water Margin, Moral Criticism, and Cultural Confrontation.William Sin - 2017 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 16 (1):95-111.
    The Water Margin is one of the four great classical novels of China. It describes how people from different walks of life were driven to become outlaws as a result of poor governance and widespread corruption. These outlaws have been regarded by some commentators as heroes, despite the fact that they perform wanton killing, over retribution, and cannibalism. Liu Zaifu 劉再復 argues that the novel has contributed to the moral downfall of the Chinese people. In this essay, I put forward (...)
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  • Emotion in Imaginative Resistance.Dylan Campbell, William Kidder, Jason D’Cruz & Brendan Gaesser - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (7):895-937.
    Imaginative resistance refers to cases in which one’s otherwise flexible imaginative capacity is constrained by an unwillingness or inability to imaginatively engage with a given claim. In three studies, we explored which specific imaginative demands engender resistance when imagining morally deviant worlds and whether individual differences in emotion predict the degree of this resistance. In Study 1 (N = 176), participants resisted the notion that harmful actions could be morally acceptable in the world of a narrative regardless of the author’s (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance and Empathic Resistance.Thomas Szanto - 2020 - Topoi 39 (4):791-802.
    In the past few decades, a growing number of philosophers have tried to explain the phenomenon of imaginative resistance, or why readers often resist the invitation of authors to imagine morally deviant fictional scenarios. In this paper, I critically assess a recent proposal to explain IR in terms of a failure of empathy, and present a novel explanation. I do so by drawing on Peter Goldie’s narrative account of empathic perspective-taking, which curiously has so far been neglected in the IR-literature. (...)
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  • The Cognitive Architecture of Imaginative Resistance.Kengo Miyazono & Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination. pp. 233-246.
    Where is imagination in imaginative resistance? We seek to answer this question by connecting two ongoing lines of inquiry in different subfields of philosophy. In philosophy of mind, philosophers have been trying to understand imaginative attitudes’ place in cognitive architecture. In aesthetics, philosophers have been trying to understand the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. By connecting these two lines of inquiry, we hope to find mutual illumination of an attitude (or cluster of attitudes) and a phenomenon that have vexed philosophers. Our (...)
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  • An Enactivist Approach to the Imagination: Embodied Enactments and "Fictional Emotions".José Medina - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (3):317.
    While in the movies or reading a novel, how can we feel terrified by monsters, ghosts, and fictional serial killers? And how can we feel sad or outraged by depictions of cruelty? After all, we know that the imagined threats that we fear do not exist and, therefore, pose no real threat to us; and we know that the instances of cruelty that bring tears to our eyes have not happened. And yet, the fear, the sadness, or the outrage experienced (...)
     
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  • Imaginability, Possibility, and the Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Janet Levin - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):391-421.
    It is standard practice in philosophical inquiry to test a general thesis (of the form 'F iff G' or 'F only if G') by attempting to construct a counterexample to it. If we can imagine or conceive of1an F that isn't a G, then we have evidence that there could be an F that isn't a G — and thus evidence against the thesis in question; if not, then the thesis is (at least temporarily) secure. Or so it is standardly (...)
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  • Feelings, Imagination and Self-Understanding.Silva Filho & J. Waldomiro - 2010 - Integr Psych Behav.
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  • Imaginability, Morality, and Fictional Truth: Dissolving the Puzzle of 'Imaginative Resistance'.Cain Samuel Todd - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (2):187-211.
    This paper argues that there is no genuine puzzle of ‘imaginative resistance’. In part 1 of the paper I argue that the imaginability of fictional propositions is relative to a range of different factors including the ‘thickness’ of certain concepts, and certain pre-theoretical and theoretical commitments. I suggest that those holding realist moral commitments may be more susceptible to resistance and inability than those holding non-realist commitments, and that it is such realist commitments that ultimately motivate the problem. However, I (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance Without Conflict.Anna Mahtani - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (3):415-429.
    I examine a range of popular solutions to the puzzle of imaginative resistance. According to each solution in this range, imaginative resistance occurs only when we are asked to imagine something that conflicts with what we believe. I show that imaginative resistance can occur without this sort of conflict, and so that every solution in the range under consideration fails. I end by suggesting a new explanation for imaginative resistance—the Import Solution—which succeeds where the other solutions considered fail.
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  • Empirically Investigating Imaginative Resistance.Shen-yi Liao, Nina Strohminger & Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2014 - British Journal of Aesthetics 54 (3):339-355.
    Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. Philosophers have primarily theorized about this phenomenon from the armchair. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of empirical methods for investigating imaginative resistance. We present two studies that help to establish the psychological reality of imaginative resistance, and to uncover one factor that is significant for explaining this phenomenon but low in psychological salience: genre. Furthermore, our studies have the methodological upshot of showing (...)
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  • The Trouble with Poetic Licence.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):149-161.
    It is commonly thought that authors can make anything whatsoever true in their fictions by artistic fiat. Harry Deutsch originally called this position the Principle of Poetic License. If true, PPL sets an important constraint on accounts of fictional truth: they must be such as to allow that, for any x, one can write a story in which it is true that x. I argue that PPL is far too strong: it requires us to abandon the law of non-contradiction and (...)
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  • Philosophical Perspectives on Fictional Characters.Paisley Nathan Livingston & Andrea Sauchelli - 2011 - New Literary History 42 (2):337-360.
    This paper takes up a series of basic philosophical questions about the nature and existence of fictional characters. We begin with realist approaches that hinge on the thesis that at least some claims about fictional characters can be right or wrong because they refer to something that exists, such as abstract objects. Irrealist approaches deny such realist postulations and hold instead that fictional characters are a figment of the human imagination. A third family of approaches, based on work by Alexius (...)
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  • Everything is True.Luis Estrada González - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Logic 15 (2):64-76.
    I defend the idea that there are universal fictions, and that the Routley-Deutsch-Kapsner way of generating them – namely, with a story including deliberately and explicitly the proposition Everything is true – is still the best one. I reconstruct Wildman and Folde’s Finean criticisms to universal fictions a la Routley-Deutsch-Kapsner based on the idea that the universal quantifier in such fictions may not target the intended range of quantification, that is, all propositions. I show that Wildman and Folde’s argument does (...)
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  • Faussetés imaginaires.Yvan Tétreault - 2010 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 5 (1):66-82.
    Les récits de fiction comportant une moralité déviante posent parfois problème quant à la détermination de ce qui est « vrai dans l’histoire ». Si par exemple on a aucune difficulté à considérer comme vrai dans le monde imaginaire que « Giselda a tué son bébé », les choses sont différentes lorsqu’il s’agit d’imaginer une situation dans laquelle nos valeurs morales sont remises en question. Confronté à un récit comportant l’énoncé « Giselda a fait la bonne chose en tuant son (...)
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