Resisting imaginative resistance

Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):607–624 (2005)
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Abstract

Recently, philosophers have identified certain fictional propositions with which one does not imaginatively engage, even where one is transparently intended by their authors to do so. One approach to explaining this categorizes it as 'resistance', that is, as deliberate failure to imagine that the relevant propositions are true; the phenomenon has become generally known (misleadingly) as 'the puzzle of imaginative resistance'. I argue that this identification is incorrect, and I dismiss several other explanations. I then propose a better one, that in central cases of imaginative failure, the basis for the failure is the contingent incomprehensibility of the relevant propositions. Why the phenomenon is especially commonplace with respect to moral propositions is illuminated along the way

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Kathleen Stock
University of Sussex

References found in this work

Truth in fiction.David K. Lewis - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):37–46.
The puzzle of imaginative resistance.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55-81.
The expression of feeling in imagination.Richard Moran - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (1):75-106.
Moral Beliefs.Philippa Foot - 1959 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59:83 - 104.

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