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  1. 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Historical Inaccuracy in Fiction.Iskra Fileva - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2):155-170.
    I ask whether and when historical inaccuracy in a work of art constitutes an aesthetic flaw. I first consider a few replies derived from others: conceptual impossibility, import-export inconsistency, failure of reference, and imaginative resistance. I argue that while there is a grain of truth to some of these proposals, none of them ultimately succeeds. I proceed to offer an alternative account on which the aesthetic demerits of historical inaccuracies stem from a violation of the conversational contract between author and (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance and Variation.Eric Peterson - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (1):67-80.
    Imaginative resistance is roughly a phenomenon that is characterized by either an inability or an unwillingness to imagine some proposition. It has been noted that this phenomenon varies from person to person and from context to context. Most philosophers account for this variation by appealing to contextual factor. While such accounts make progress, I argue that the variation outruns the use of such a tactic. I propose a new account that can explain all of the variation.
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  • Explanations: Aesthetic and Scientific.Shen-yi Liao - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 75:127-149.
    Methodologically, philosophical aesthetics is undergoing an evolution that takes it closer to the sciences. Taking this methodological convergence as the starting point, I argue for a pragmatist and pluralist view of aesthetic explanations. To bring concreteness to discussion, I focus on vindicating genre explanations, which are explanations of aesthetic phenomena that centrally cite a work's genre classification. I show that theoretical resources that philosophers of science have developed with attention to actual scientific practice and the special sciences can be used (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Smartfounding: Four Grades of Resistance to Thought Experiments.Roy Sorensen - 2019 - Topoi 38 (4):791-800.
    Smartfounding is the opposite of “dumbfounding” introduced by Jonathan Haidt’s research on disgust. Dumbfounders have general competence at thought experiment. However, they are flustered by thought experiments that support repugnant conclusions. Instead of following the supposition wherever it leads, they avoid unsettling implications by adding extraneous information or ignoring stipulated conditions. The dumbfounded commit performance errors, often seeming to regress to the answers of people who lack formal schooling. Smartfounders retain their composure. They practice subversive compliance, obeying the instructions in (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance and Empathic Resistance.Thomas Szanto - forthcoming - Topoi:1-12.
    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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  • Perspectives in Imaginative Engagement with Fiction.Elisabeth Camp - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):73-102.
    I take up three puzzles about our emotional and evaluative responses to fiction. First, how can we even have emotional responses to characters and events that we know not to exist, if emotions are as intimately connected to belief and action as they seem to be? One solution to this puzzle claims that we merely imagine having such emotional responses. But this raises the puzzle of why we would ever refuse to follow an author’s instructions to imagine such responses, since (...)
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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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