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The Problem of Imaginative Resistance

In John Gibson & Noël Carroll (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature. Routledge. pp. 405-418 (2016)

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  1. Axiological Futurism: The Systematic Study of the Future of Values.John Danaher - forthcoming - Futures.
    Human values seem to vary across time and space. What implications does this have for the future of human value? Will our human and (perhaps) post-human offspring have very different values from our own? Can we study the future of human values in an insightful and systematic way? This article makes three contributions to the debate about the future of human values. First, it argues that the systematic study of future values is both necessary in and of itself and an (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance in Science.Valentina Savojardo - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-19.
    The paper addresses the problem of imaginative resistance in science, that is, why and under what circumstances imagination sometimes resists certain scenarios. In the first part, the paper presents and discusses two accounts concerning the problem and relevant for the main thesis of this study. The first position is that of Gendler, The Architecture of the Imagination: New essays on pretence, possibility and fiction, Oxford University Press, New York, 2006a), The routledge companion to philosophy of literature, Routledge, New York, 2016), (...)
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  • Sham Emotions, Quasi-Emotions or Non-Genuine Emotions? Fictional Emotions and Their Qualitative Feel.Ingrid Vendrell Ferran - 2022 - In Thiemo Breyer, Marco Cavallaro & Rodrigo Sandoval (eds.), Phenomenology of Phantasy and Emotion. Darmstadt: WBG Academic.
    Contemporary accounts on fictional emotions, i.e., emotions experienced towards objects we know to be fictional, are mainly concerned with explaining their rationality or lack thereof. In this context dominated by an interest in the role of belief, questions regarding their phenomenal quality have received far less attention: it is often assumed that they feel “similar” to emotions that target real objects. Against this background, this paper focuses on the possible specificities of fictional emotions’ qualitative feel. It starts by presenting what (...)
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  • Ethics, X-Phi, and the Expanded Methodological Toolbox: How the Think Aloud Method and Interview Reveal People’s Judgments on Issues in Ethics and Beyond.Kyle Thompson - 2019 - Dissertation, Claremont Graduate University
    Ethics isn’t a conversation exclusive to philosophers. There is value, then, in not only understanding how laypeople think about issues in ethics, but also bringing their judgments into dialogue with those of philosophers in order to make sense of agreement, disagreement, and the consequences of each. Experimental philosophers facilitate this dialogue uniquely by capturing laypeople’s judgments and analyzing them in light of philosophical theory. They have done so almost exclusively by using face valid quantitative surveys about philosophically interesting thought experiments. (...)
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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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  • 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. pp. 143-166.
    An observation of Hume’s has received a lot of attention over the last decade and a half: Although we can standardly imagine the most implausible scenarios, we encounter resistance when imagining propositions at odds with established moral (or perhaps more generally evaluative) convictions. The literature is ripe with ‘solutions’ to this so-called ‘Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance’. Few, however, question the plausibility of the empirical assumption at the heart of the puzzle. In this paper, we explore empirically whether the difficulty we (...)
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  • Virtual Competitions and the Gamer’s Dilemma.Karim Nader - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (3):239-245.
    This paper expands Rami Ali’s dissolution of the gamer’s dilemma (Ethics Inf Technol 17:267-274, 2015). Morgan Luck’s gamer’s dilemma (Ethics Inf Technol 11(1):31-36, 2009) rests on our having diverging intuition when considering virtual murder and virtual child molestation in video games. Virtual murder is seemingly permissible, when virtual child molestation is not and there is no obvious morally relevant difference between the two. Ali argues that virtual murder and virtual child molestation are equally permissible/impermissible when considered under different modes of (...)
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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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  • Coping With Imaginative Resistance.Daniel Altshuler & Emar Maier - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    We propose to characterize imaginative resistance as the failure or unwillingness of the reader to take a fictional description of a deviant reality at face value. The goal of the paper is to explore how readers deal with such a breakdown of the default Face Value interpretation strategy. We posit two distinct interpretative ‘coping’ strategies which help the reader engage with the resistance-inducing fiction by attributing the offending content to one of the fictional characters. We present novel empirical evidence that (...)
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  • Resisting Tiny Heroes: Kant on the Mechanism and Scope of Imaginative Resistance.Morganna Lambeth - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (2):164-176.
    Traditionally, theorists suggested that imaginative resistance is limited to morally repugnant claims. More recently, theorists have argued that the phenomenon of imaginative resistance is wider in scope, extending to descriptive claims. On both sides, though, theorists have focused on cases where imaginative resistance goes right, tracking something that is wrong with the story—that it is morally repugnant, or conceptually contradictory. I use a rarely cited discussion from Kant to argue that imaginative resistance can also occur when something goes wrong with (...)
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  • Forms of Moral Impossibility.Silvia Panizza - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):361-373.
    An important yet often unacknowledged aspect of moral discourse is the phenomenon of moral impossibility, which challenges more widely accepted models of moral discussion and deliberation as a choice among possible options. Starting from observations of the new possibilities of anti immigrant attitudes and hate crimes which have been described by the press as something being “unleashed,” the paper asks what it means for something to enter or not the sphere of possibility in the moral sense, and whether it is (...)
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  • Viewpoint Convergence as a Philosophical Defect (Work in Progress, Committed to Volume Attitude in Philosophy, Eds. Goldberg & Walker).Grace Helton - manuscript
    What can we know? How should we live? What is there? Philosophers famously diverge in the answers they give to these and other philosophical questions. It is widely presumed that a lack of convergence on these questions suggests that philosophy is not progressing at all, is not progressing fast enough, or is not progressing as fast as other disciplines, such as the natural sciences. Call the view that ideal philosophical progress is marked by at least some degree of convergence on (...)
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  • Stit-Logic for Imagination Episodes with Voluntary Input.Christopher Badura & Heinrich Wansing - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-49.
    Francesco Berto proposed a logic for imaginative episodes. The logic establishes certain validities concerning episodic imagination. They are not all equally plausible as principles of episodic imagination. The logic also does not model that the initial input of an imaginative episode is deliberately chosen. Stit-imagination logic models the imagining agent’s deliberate choice of the content of their imagining. However, the logic does not model the episodic nature of imagination. The present paper combines the two logics, thereby modelling imaginative episodes with (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics.Florian Cova, Amanda Garcia & Shen-yi Liao - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):927-939.
    In the past decade, experimental philosophy---the attempt at making progress on philosophical problems using empirical methods---has thrived in a wide range of domains. However, only in recent years has aesthetics succeeded in drawing the attention of experimental philosophers. The present paper constitutes the first survey of these works and of the nascent field of 'experimental philosophy of aesthetics'. We present both recent experimental works by philosophers on topics such as the ontology of aesthetics, aesthetic epistemology, aesthetic concepts, and imagination, as (...)
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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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  • Extracting Fictional Truth From Unreliable Sources.Emar Maier & Merel Semeijn - 2021 - In Emar Maier & Andreas Stokke (eds.), The Language of Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    A fictional text is commonly viewed as constituting an invitation to play a certain game of make-believe, with the individual sentences written by the author providing the propositions we are to imagine and/or accept as true within the fiction. However, we can’t always take the text at face value. What narratologists call ‘unreliable narrators’ may present a confused or misleading picture of the fictional world. Meanwhile there has been a debate in philosophy about so-called ‘imaginative resistance’ in which we are (...)
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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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  • Death on the Freeway: Imaginative Resistance as Narrator Accommodation.Daniel Altshuler & Emar Maier - 2020 - In Ilaria Frana, Paula Menendez Benito & Rajesh Bhatt (eds.), Making Worlds Accessible: Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer. Amherst: UMass ScholarWorks.
    We propose to analyze well-known cases of "imaginative resistance" from the philosophical literature (Gendler, Walton, Weatherson) as involving the inference that particular content should be attributed to either: (i) a character rather than the narrator or, (ii) an unreliable, irrational, opinionated, and/or morally deviant "first person" narrator who was originally perceived to be a typical impersonal, omniscient, "effaced" narrator. We model the latter type of attribution in terms of two independently motivated linguistic mechanisms: accommodation of a discourse referent (Lewis, Stalnaker, (...)
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  • Sugar and Spice, and Everything Nice: What Rough Heroines Tell Us About Imaginative Resistance.Adriana Clavel-Vazquez - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (2):201-212.
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  • Creative Imagining as Practical Knowing: An Akbariyya Account.Reza Hadisi - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (s):181-204.
    I argue that practical knowledge can be understood as constituted by a kind of imagining. In particular, it is the knowledge of what I am doing when that knowledge is represented via extramental imagination. Two results follow. First, on this account, we can do justice both to the cognitive character and the practical character of practical knowledge. And second, we can identify a condition under which imagination becomes factive, and thus a source of ob-jective evidence. I develop this view by (...)
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  • Morality and the Imagination: Real-World Moral Beliefs Interfere with Imagining Fictional Content.Jessica Black & Jennifer Barnes - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (7):1018-1044.
    The purpose of this paper was to test whether imaginative resistance – a term used in the philosophical literature to describe the reluctance to imagine counter-moral worlds – is experienced by peo...
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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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