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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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  • Imagining and Fiction: Some Issues.Kathleen Stock - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):887-896.
    In this paper, I survey in some depth three issues arising from the connection between imagination and fiction: (i) whether fiction can be defined as such in terms of its prescribing imagining; (ii) whether imagining in response to fiction is de se, or de re, or both; (iii) the phenomenon of ‘imaginative resistance’ and various explanations for it. Along the way I survey, more briefly, several other prominent issues in this area too.
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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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  • Eluding Wilson’s “Elusive Narrators”.David Davies - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (3):387-394.
    George Wilson has defended the thesis that even impersonal third-person fictional narratives should be taken to contain fictional narrations and have fictional narrators. This, he argues, is necessary if we are to explain how readers can take themselves, in their imaginative engagement with fictions, to have knowledge of the things they are imagining. I argue that there is at least one class of impersonal third-person fictional narratives—thought experiments—to which Wilson’s model fails to apply, and that this reveals more general problems (...)
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  • The Trouble with Poetic Licence.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):149-161.
    It is commonly thought that authors can make anything whatsoever true in their fictions by artistic fiat. Harry Deutsch originally called this position the Principle of Poetic License. If true, PPL sets an important constraint on accounts of fictional truth: they must be such as to allow that, for any x, one can write a story in which it is true that x. I argue that PPL is far too strong: it requires us to abandon the law of non-contradiction and (...)
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  • Imagining as a Guide to Possibility.Peter Kung - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):620-663.
    I lay out the framework for my theory of sensory imagination in “Imagining as a guide to possibility.” Sensory imagining involves mental imagery , and crucially, in describing the content of imagining, I distinguish between qualitative content and assigned content. Qualitative content derives from the mental image itself; for visual imaginings, it is what is “pictured.” For example, visually imagine the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their first Super Bowl. You picture the greenness of the field and (...)
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  • Animal Beauty, Ethics, and Environmental Preservation.Ned Hettinger - 2010 - Environmental Ethics 32 (2):115-134.
    Animal beauty provides a significant aesthetic reason for protecting nature. Worries about aesthetic discrimination and the ugliness of predation might make one think otherwise. Although it has been argued that aesthetic merit is a trivial and morally objectionable basis for action, beauty is an important value and a legitimate basis for differential treatment, especially in the case of animals. While the suffering and death of animals due to predation are important disvalues that must be recognized, predation’s tragic beauty has positive (...)
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  • Fatal Prescription.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (2):151-163.
    Ethicism is the most comprehensively defended answer to the question regarding whether ethical properties determine aesthetic properties in artworks. According to ethicism, aesthetically relevant ethical flaws in artworks count as aesthetic flaws and aesthetically relevant ethical merits count as aesthetic merits. In this paper, I argue that ethicism’s most significant argument, the Merited Response Argument suffers from an ambiguity that makes it either unsound or uninteresting. Specifically, the notion of an artwork’s ‘prescribing’ a response, central to MRA, is ambiguous between (...)
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  • Improve Your Thought Experiments Overnight with Speculative Fiction!Ross P. Cameron - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):29-45.
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  • Don't Ask, Look! Linguistic Corpora as a Tool for Conceptual Analysis.Roland Bluhm - 2013 - In Migue Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico. pp. 7-15.
    Ordinary Language Philosophy has largely fallen out of favour, and with it the belief in the primary importance of analyses of ordinary language for philosophical purposes. Still, in their various endeavours, philosophers not only from analytic but also from other backgrounds refer to the use and meaning of terms of interest in ordinary parlance. In doing so, they most commonly appeal to their own linguistic intuitions. Often, the appeal to individual intuitions is supplemented by reference to dictionaries. In recent times, (...)
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  • Hume on the Imagination.Fabian Dorsch - 2015 - Rero Doc Digital Library:1-28.
    This is the original, longer draft for my entry on Hume in the 'The Routledge Hand- book of Philosophy of Imagination', edited by Amy Kind and published by Routledge in 2016 (see the separate entry). — Please always cite the Routledge version, unless there are passages concerned that did not make it into the Handbook for reasons of length. — -/- This chapter overviews Hume’s thoughts on the nature and the role of imagining, with an almost exclusive focus on the (...)
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  • Aptness of Fiction-Directed Emotions.Moonyoung Song - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (1):45-59.
    I argue that the criteria governing the aptness of emotions directed towards fictional entities, such as characters and events in fiction, are structurally identical to the criteria governing the aptness of emotions directed towards real entities in the following sense: in both cases, aptness is characterized in terms of fittingness, justification, and being salience-tracking, and each of these notions is understood in an analogous way across reality- and fiction-directed emotions. The only differences are that, in the case of fiction-directed emotions, (...)
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  • Sport, Make-Believe, and Volatile Attitudes.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):275-288.
    The outcomes of sports and competitive games excite intense emotions in many people, even when those same people acknowledge that those outcomes are of trifling importance. I call this incongruity between the judged importance of the outcome and the intense reactions it provokes the Puzzle of Sport. The puzzle can be usefully compared to another puzzle in aesthetics: the Paradox of Fiction, which asks how it is we become emotionally caught up with events and characters we know to be unreal. (...)
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  • The Ethics of Imagination and Fantasy.Aaron Smuts - forthcoming - In Amy Kind (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination.
    The "ethics of imagination" or the "ethics of fantasy" encompasses the various ways in which we can morally evaluate the imagination. This topic covers a range of different kinds of imagination: (1) fantasizing, (2) engaging with fictions, and (3) dreaming. The clearest, live ethical question concerns the moral value of taking pleasure in undeserved suffering, whether willfully imagined, represented, or dreamed. Much of this entry concerns general theoretical considerations and how they relate to the ethics of fantasy. In the final (...)
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  • Pleasurably Regarding the Pain of Fictional Others.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Is it ever bad to take pleasure in the suffering of fictional characters? I think so. I attempt to show when and why. I begin with two powerful objections to my view: (1) engaging with fiction is akin to morally unproblematic autonomous fantasy, and (2) since no one is harmed, it is morally unproblematic. I reply to the objections and defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is intrinsically bad to enjoy evil, actual (past, present, or future) and merely (...)
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  • Robust Immoralism.A. W. Eaton - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (3):281-292.
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  • Art and Ethical Criticism: An Overview of Recent Directions of Research.Noël Carroll - 2000 - Ethics 110 (2):350-387.
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  • Argument From Personal Narrative: A Case Study of Rachel Moran's Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution.Katherine Dormandy - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (3):601-620.
    Personal narratives can let us in on aspects of reality which we have not experienced for ourselves, and are thus important sources for philosophical reflection. Yet a venerable tradition in mainstream philosophy has little room for arguments which rely on personal narrative, on the grounds that narratives are particular and testimonial, whereas philosophical arguments should be systematic and transparent. I argue that narrative arguments are an important form of philosophical argument. Their testimonial aspects witness to novel facets of reality, but (...)
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  • Introduction: Les vertus de l’imagination.Christine Tappolet - 2010 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 5 (1):23-25.
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  • A Pragmatic Framework for Truth in Fiction.Andrea Bonomi & Sandro Zucchi - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):103–120.
    In this paper we propose a semantic analysis of sentences of the form "In fiction x, p" based on this picture of context. We argue that the derived contexts for sentences in the scope of "In fiction X" are determined by three factors: what the beliefs of the author are taken to be, the conventions established for the fiction, and a defeasible presumption of reliability of the narrator. We develop a formal implementation based on the notion of a system of (...)
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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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  • Death on the Freeway: Imaginative Resistance as Narrator Accommodation.Daniel Altshuler & Emar Maier - forthcoming - 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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  • How Not to Defend Response Moralism. Smuts - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 49 (4):19-38.
    The bulk of the literature on the relationship between art and morality is principally concerned with an aesthetic question: Do moral flaws with works of art constitute aesthetic flaws?1 Much less attention has been paid to the ways in which artworks can be morally flawed. There are at least three promising contenders that concern aesthetic education: Artworks can be morally flawed by endorsing immorality, corrupting audiences, and encouraging responses that are bad to have. When it comes to works of fiction, (...)
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  • Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.Stephen Yablo - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 441-492.
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  • Morality, Fiction, and Possibility.Brian Weatherson - 2004 - Philosophers' Imprint 4:1-27.
    Authors have a lot of leeway with regard to what they can make true in their story. In general, if the author says that p is true in the fiction we’re reading, we believe that p is true in that fiction. And if we’re playing along with the fictional game, we imagine that, along with everything else in the story, p is true. But there are exceptions to these general principles. Many authors, most notably Kendall Walton and Tamar Szabó Gendler, (...)
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  • Gendler on the Puzzle(s) of Imaginative Resistance.Andrea Sauchelli - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (1):1-9.
    Gendler reformulated the so-called imaginability puzzle in terms of authorial breakdown. The main idea behind this move was to isolate the essential features displayed by the alleged problematic cases and to specify a puzzle general enough to be applied to a variety of different types of imaginative resistance. I offer various criticisms of Gendler’s approach to imaginative resistance that also raise some more general points on the recent literature on the topic.
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  • Imaginative Resistance as Imagistic Resistance.Uku Tooming - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (5):684-706.
    When we are invited to imagine an unacceptable moral proposition to be true in fiction, we feel resistance when we try to imagine it. Despite this, it is nonetheless possible to suppose that the proposition is true. In this paper, I argue that existing accounts of imaginative resistance are unable to explain why only attempts to imagine the truth of moral propositions cause resistance. My suggestion is that imagination, unlike supposition, involves mental imagery and imaginative resistance arises when imagery that (...)
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  • Against the Additive View of Imagination.Nick Wiltsher - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):266-282.
    According to the additive view of sensory imagination, mental imagery often involves two elements. There is an image-like element, which gives the experiences qualitative phenomenal character akin to that of perception. There is also a non-image element, consisting of something like suppositions about the image's object. This accounts for extra- sensory features of imagined objects and situations: for example, it determines whether an image of a grey horse is an image of Desert Orchid, or of some other grey horse. The (...)
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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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  • On the Contribution of Literature and the Arts to the Educational Cultivation of Moral Virtue, Feeling and Emotion.David Carr - 2005 - Journal of Moral Education 34 (2):137-151.
    This paper sets out to explore connections between a number of plausible claims concerning education in general and moral education in particular: (i) that education is a matter of broad cultural initiation rather than narrow academic or vocational training; (ii) that any education so conceived would have a key concern with the moral dimensions of personal formation; (iii) that emotional growth is an important part of such moral formation; and (iv) that literature and other arts have an important part to (...)
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  • Against Cognitivism About Supposition.Margherita Arcangeli - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):607-624.
    A popular view maintains that supposition is a kind of cognitive mental state, very similar to belief in essential respects. Call this view “cognitivism about supposition”. There are at least three grades of cognitivism, construing supposition as (i) a belief, (ii) belief-like imagination or (iii) a species of belief-like imagination. I shall argue against all three grades of cognitivism and claim that supposition is a sui generis form of imagination essentially dissimilar to belief. Since for good reasons (i) is not (...)
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  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility in Video Games.Christopher Bartel - 2015 - Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4):285-293.
    Can a player be held morally responsible for the choices that she makes within a videogame? Do the moral choices that the player makes reflect in any way on the player’s actual moral sensibilities? Many videogames offer players the options to make numerous choices within the game, including moral choices. But the scope of these choices is quite limited. I attempt to analyze these issues by drawing on philosophical debates about the nature of free will. Many philosophers worry that, if (...)
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  • Eluding Wilson’s “Elusive Narrators”.David Davies - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (3):387 - 394.
    George Wilson has defended the thesis that even impersonal third-person fictional narratives should be taken to contain fictional narrations and have fictional narrators. This, he argues, is necessary if we are to explain how readers can take themselves, in their imaginative engagement with fictions, to have knowledge of the things they are imagining. I argue that there is at least one class of impersonal third-person fictional narratives—thought experiments—to which Wilson’s model fails to apply, and that this reveals more general problems (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance Without Conflict.Anna Mahtani - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (3):415-429.
    I examine a range of popular solutions to the puzzle of imaginative resistance. According to each solution in this range, imaginative resistance occurs only when we are asked to imagine something that conflicts with what we believe. I show that imaginative resistance can occur without this sort of conflict, and so that every solution in the range under consideration fails. I end by suggesting a new explanation for imaginative resistance—the Import Solution—which succeeds where the other solutions considered fail.
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  • Imaginability, Morality, and Fictional Truth: Dissolving the Puzzle of 'Imaginative Resistance'.Cain Samuel Todd - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (2):187-211.
    This paper argues that there is no genuine puzzle of ‘imaginative resistance’. In part 1 of the paper I argue that the imaginability of fictional propositions is relative to a range of different factors including the ‘thickness’ of certain concepts, and certain pre-theoretical and theoretical commitments. I suggest that those holding realist moral commitments may be more susceptible to resistance and inability than those holding non-realist commitments, and that it is such realist commitments that ultimately motivate the problem. However, I (...)
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  • Good Sense, Art, and Morality in Hume's ‘Of the Standard of Taste’.Reed Winegar - 2011 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (1):17-35.
    In his essay ‘Of the Standard of Taste,’ Hume argues that artworks with morally flawed outlooks are, to some extent, aesthetically flawed. While Hume's remarks regarding the relationship between art and morality have influenced contemporary aestheticians, Hume's own position has struck many people as incoherent. For Hume appears to entangle himself in two separate contradictions. First, Hume seems to claim both that true judges should not enter into vicious sentiments and that true judges should adopt the standpoint of an artwork's (...)
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  • Faussetés imaginaires.Yvan Tétreault - 2010 - Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 5 (1):66-82.
    Les récits de fiction comportant une moralité déviante posent parfois problème quant à la détermination de ce qui est « vrai dans l’histoire ». Si par exemple on a aucune difficulté à considérer comme vrai dans le monde imaginaire que « Giselda a tué son bébé », les choses sont différentes lorsqu’il s’agit d’imaginer une situation dans laquelle nos valeurs morales sont remises en question. Confronté à un récit comportant l’énoncé « Giselda a fait la bonne chose en tuant son (...)
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  • A Comedy of Errors or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Sensibility‐Invariantism About ‘Funny’.Ryan Doerfler - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):493-522.
    In this article, I argue that sensibility‐invariantism about ‘funny’ is defensible, not just as a descriptive hypothesis, but, as a normative position as well. What I aim to do is to make the realist commitments of the sensibility‐invariantist out to be much more tenable than one might initially think them to be. I do so by addressing the two major sources of discontent with sensibility‐invariantism: the observation that discourse about comedy exhibits significant divergence in judgment, and the fact that disagreements (...)
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  • Naturalized Compassion: A Critique of Nussbaum on Literature as Education for Compassionate Citizenry.Bruce Maxwell - 2006 - Journal of Moral Education 35 (3):335-352.
    Martha Nussbaum and others claim that the study of literature can make a significant contribution to political education by nurturing empathic capacities. In Nussbaum's reading of the situation, the need to promote the creation of bonds of compassion?based solidarity between co?citizens provides material for an argument to restore the study of novels, in particular the realist social novel, to its former place near the centre of the curriculum in higher education. This paper argues that the unrivalled educational value that Nussbaum (...)
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  • Art, Ethics, and Critical Pluralism.Katherine Thomson-Jones - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (3):275-293.
    Those who have views about the relation between aesthetic and ethical value often also have views about the nature of art criticism. Yet no one has paid much attention to the compatibility of views in one debate with views in the other. This is worrying in light of a tension between two popular kinds of view: namely, between critical pluralism and any view in the art and ethics debate that presupposes an invariant relation between aesthetic value and ethical value. Specifically, (...)
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  • Imagination, Empathy, and Moral Deliberation: The Case of Imaginative Resistence.Karsten R. Stueber - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):156-180.
    This essay develops a new account of the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. Imaginative resistance is best conceived of as a limited phenomenon. It occurs when we try to engage imaginatively with different moral worlds that are insufficiently articulated so that they do not allow us either to quarantine our imaginative engagement from our normal moral attitudes or to agree with the expressed moral judgment from the perspective of moral deliberation. Imaginative resistance thus reveals the central epistemic importance that empathy plays (...)
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