The Puzzle of Imaginative Failure

Philosophical Quarterly 62 (248):443-463 (2012)
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Abstract

The Puzzle of Imaginative Failure asks why, when readers are invited to do so, they so often fall short of imagining worlds where the moral facts are different. This is puzzling because we have no difficulty imagining worlds where the descriptive facts are different. Much of the philosophical controversy revolves around the question of whether the reader's lack of imagination in such cases is a result of psychological barriers (an inability or a difficulty on the reader's part to imagine what she is asked to imagine) or whether it is instead a result of wilful resistance (a desire not to imagine what she's asked to imagine). I argue for a different kind of solution. I maintain the primary reason for such systematic failures on the reader's part is due to an inability on the author's part to make clear that she is inviting the reader to engage in such imaginings

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Author's Profile

Stuart Brock
Victoria University of Wellington

Citations of this work

Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Problem of Imaginative Resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler & Shen-yi Liao - 2015 - In Noël Carroll & John Gibson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature. New York: Routledge. pp. 405-418.
The Content-Dependence of Imaginative Resistance.Hanna Kim, Markus Kneer & Michael T. Stuart - 2018 - In Florian Cova & Sébastien Réhault (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 143-166.
Imagination.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2012 - In Peter Adamson (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Imaginative Resistance.Emine Hande Tuna - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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