Thinking About Different Nonexistents of the Same Kind: Reid's Account of the Imagination and its Nonexistent Objects

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):627-649 (2015)
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Abstract

How is it that, as fiction readers, we are nonplussed by J. K. Rowling's prescription to imagine Ronan, Bane, and Magorian, three different centaurs of the Forbidden Forrest at Hogwarts? It is usually held in the philosophical literature on fictional discourse that singular imaginings of fictional objects are impossible, given the blatant nonexistence of such objects. In this paper, I have a dual purpose: on the one hand, to show that, without being committed to Meinongeanism, we can explain the phenomenon of singular imaginings of different nonexistents of the same kind; while, at the same time, to attribute this position to Thomas Reid, thus correcting some misunderstandings of his view on imagination.

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M. Folescu
University of Missouri, Columbia

Citations of this work

Reid’s View of Memorial Conception.Marina Folescu - 2018 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 16 (3):211-226.
Thomas Reid on Induction and Natural Kinds.Stephen Harrop - 2022 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 20 (1):1-18.

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References found in this work

Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
An essay concerning human understanding.John Locke - 1689 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Pauline Phemister.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 1785 - University Park, Pa.: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Derek R. Brookes & Knud Haakonssen.

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