Flexing the imagination

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61 (3):247–258 (2003)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
I explore the claim that “fictive imagining” – imagining what it is like to be a character – can be morally dangerous. In particular, I consider the controversy over William Styron’s imagining the revolutionary protagonist in his Confessions of Nat Turner. I employ Ted Cohen’s model of fictive imagining to argue, following a generally Kantian line of thought, that fictive imagining can be dangerous if one has the wrong motives. After considering several possible motives, I argue that only internally directed motives can satisfy the moral concern. Finally, I suggest that when one has the right motives, fictive imagining is morally praiseworthy since it improves one’s ability to imagine the lives of others.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
HARFTI
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-03-13
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
86 ( #24,321 of 38,957 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #24,672 of 38,957 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.