There are no i-beliefs or i-desires at work in fiction consumption and this is why

In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 210-233 (2020)
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Currie’s (2010) argument that “i-desires” must be posited to explain our responses to fiction is critically discussed. It is argued that beliefs and desires featuring ‘in the fiction’ operators—and not sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" or "i-desires")—are the crucial states involved in generating fiction-directed affect. A defense of the “Operator Claim” is mounted, according to which ‘in the fiction’ operators would be also be required within fiction-directed sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" and "i-desires"), were there such. Once we appreciate that even fiction-directed sui generis imaginings would need to incorporate ‘in the fiction’ operators, the main appeal of the idea that sui generis imaginings (or "i-beliefs" or "i-desires") are at work in fiction-appreciation dissipates. [This is Chapter 10 of Explaining Imagination (OUP, 2020)]

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Peter Langland-Hassan
University of Cincinnati


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