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In Paisley Livingston & Carl Plantinga (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film. Routledge. pp. 152-161 (2008)

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  1. 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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  • 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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  • Moral Persuasion and the Diversity of Fictions.Shen-yi Liao - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):269-289.
    Narrative representations can change our moral actions and thoughts, for better or for worse. In this article, I develop a theory of fictions' capacity for moral education and moral corruption that is fully sensitive to the diversity of fictions. Specifically, I argue that the way a fiction influences our moral actions and thoughts importantly depends on its genre. This theory promises new insights into practical ethical debates over pornography and media violence.
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  • “But Is It Science Fiction?”: Science Fiction and a Theory of Genre.Simon J. Evnine - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):1-28.
    If science fiction is a genre, then attempts to think about the nature of science fiction will be affected by one’s understanding of what genres are. I shall examine two approaches to genre, one dominant but inadequate, the other better, but only occasionally making itself seen. I shall then discuss several important, interrelated issues, focusing particularly on science fiction : what it is for a work to belong to a genre, the semantics of genre names, the validity of attempts to (...)
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  • Comics and Genre.Catharine Abell - 2012 - In Aaron Meskin & Roy T. Cook (eds.), The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach. Blackwell. pp. 68--84.
    An adequate account of the nature of genre and of the criteria for genre membership is essential to understanding the nature of the various categories into which comics can be classified. Because they fail adequately to distinguish genre categories from other ways of categorizing works, including categorizations according to medium or according to style, previous accounts of genre fail to illuminate the nature of comics categories. I argue that genres are sets of conventions that have developed as means of addressing (...)
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  • The Fictional Character of Pornography.Shen-yi Liao & Sara Protasi - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 100-118.
    We refine a line of feminist criticism of pornography that focuses on pornographic works' pernicious effects. A.W. Eaton argues that inegalitarian pornography should be criticized because it is responsible for its consumers’ adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in the same way that other fictions are responsible for changes in their consumers’ attitudes. We argue that her argument can be improved with the recognition that different fictions can have different modes of persuasion. This is true of film and television: a (...)
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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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