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Only imagine: fiction, interpretation and imagination

Oxford: Oxford University Press (2017)

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  1. Fiction and Importation.Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):65-89.
    Importation in fictional discourse is the phenomenon by which audiences include information in the story over and above what is explicitly stated by the narrator. This paper argues that importation is distinct from generation, the phenomenon by which truth in fiction may outstrip what is made explicit, and draws a distinction between fictional truth and fictional records. The latter comprises the audience’s picture of what is true according to the narrator. The paper argues that importation into fictional records operates according (...)
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  • Introduction: exploring the limits of imagination.Amy Kind - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-14.
  • Revising Fiction, Fact, and Faith: A Philosophical Account.Nathaniel Gavaler Goldberg & Chris Gavaler - 2020 - New York: Routledge.
    This book addresses how our revisionary practices account for relations between texts and how they are read. It offers an overarching philosophy of revision concerning works of fiction, fact, and faith, revealing unexpected insights about the philosophy of language, the metaphysics of fact and fiction, and the history and philosophy of science and religion. It will be of interest to a wide range of scholars and advanced students working in philosophy of language, metaphysics, philosophy of literature, literary theory and criticism, (...)
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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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  • Explaining Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    ​Imagination will remain a mystery—we will not be able to explain imagination—until we can break it into parts we already understand. Explaining Imagination is a guidebook for doing just that, where the parts are other ordinary mental states like beliefs, desires, judgments, and decisions. In different combinations and contexts, these states constitute cases of imagining. This reductive approach to imagination is at direct odds with the current orthodoxy, according to which imagination is a sui generis mental state or process—one with (...)
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  • A Sensibilist Explanation of Imaginative Resistance.Nils Franzén - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy (3):159-174.
    This article discusses why it is the case that we refuse to accept strange evaluative claims as being true in fictions, even though we are happy to go along with other types of absurdities in such contexts. For instance, we would refuse to accept the following statement as true, even in the con-text of a fiction: -/- (i) In killing her baby, Giselda did the right thing; after all, it was a girl. -/- This article offers a sensibilist diagnosis of (...)
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  • Understanding What It's Like To Be (Dis)Privileged.Nicholas Wiltsher - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Can a person privileged in some respect understand what it is like to be disprivileged in that respect? Some say yes; some say no. I argue that both positions are correct, because ‘understand what it is like to be disprivileged’ is ambiguous. Sometimes, it means grasp of the character of particular experiences of disprivileged people. Privileged people can achieve this. Sometimes, it means grasp of the general character shared by experiences of disprivileged people. Privileged people cannot achieve this. However, there (...)
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  • Imagination.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2011 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University.
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  • Predelli on Fictional Discourse.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (1):83-94.
    John Searle argues that fictions are constituted by mere pretense—by the simulation of representational activities like assertions, without any further representational aim. They are not the result of sui generis, dedicated speech acts of a specific kind, on a par with assertion. The view had earlier many defenders, and still has some. Stefano Predelli enlists considerations derived from Searle in support of his radical fictionalism. This is the view that a sentence of fictional discourse including a prima facie empty fictional (...)
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  • Fiction: A Philosophical Analysis.Richard Woodward - forthcoming - Mind.
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  • Talk About Pop Muzik: Discussion of Enrico Terrone, ‘Listening to Other Minds: A Phenomenology of Pop Songs’, BJA 60 (2020), 435–453.Nicholas Wiltsher - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):471-483.
    In ‘Listening to Other Minds’, Enrico Terrone provides an account of the mental activity in which we ought to engage to appreciate pop music. He argues that we should ‘play a game of make-believe’ in which we imagine that we can ‘hear … the mind’ of a fictional character. We should use this ability to grasp the thoughts and feelings that the mind contains, and thus undertake ‘exploration’ of the character’s ‘inner life’. This article argues, first, that only a simplified (...)
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  • Illocutionary Force and Attitude Mode in Normative Disputes.Teresa Marques - 2021 - Metaphilosophy (3-4):1-17.
    In this paper, I assess recent Stalnakerian views of communication in moral and normative domains. These views model context updates with normative claims. They also aim to explain how people disagree when they follow different norms or values. I present four problems for these Stalnakerian views. I conclude that the problems require a new conception of how common ground relates to illocutionary force and attitude mode, which is still lacking.
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  • Sham Emotions, Quasi-Emotions or Non-Genuine Emotions? Fictional Emotions and Their Qualitative Feel.Ingrid Vendrell Ferran - forthcoming - In Thiemo Breyer, Marco Cavallaro & Rodrigo Sandoval (eds.), Phenomenology of Phantasy and Emotion. Darmstadt: WBG Academic.
    Contemporary accounts on fictional emotions, i.e., emotions experienced towards objects we know to be fictional, are mainly concerned with explaining their rationality or lack thereof. In this context dominated by an interest in the role of belief, questions regarding their phenomenal quality have received far less attention: it is often assumed that they feel “similar” to emotions that target real objects. Against this background, this paper focuses on the possible specificities of fictional emotions’ qualitative feel. It starts by presenting what (...)
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  • Questioning Imaginative Resistance and Resistant Reading.Bradford Skow - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (4):575-587.
    It is widely accepted that readers will resist imagining that a character in a story did something morally wrong, even if the story endorses this judgement. This paper argues, first, that readers will not resist if the question of whether that act was wrong is not salient as they read; and, second, that asking a certain question can be part of correctly appreciating a story—even if that question is not in the foreground of the story, and even if the story (...)
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  • The Meanings of Fictional Names.Fiora Salis - 2021 - Organon 28 (1):9-43.
    According to Millianism, the meaning of a name is exhausted by its referent. According to anti-realism about fictional entities, there are no such entities. If there are no fictional entities, how can we explain the apparent meaningfulness of fictional names? Our best theory of fiction, Walton’s theory of make-believe, makes the same assumptions but lacks the theoretical resources to answer the question. In this paper, I propose a pragmatic solution in terms of two main dimensions of meaning, a subjective, psychological (...)
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  • Imagining Fictional Contradictions.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3169-3188.
    It is widely believed, among philosophers of literature, that imagining contradictions is as easy as telling or reading a story with contradictory content. Italo Calvino’s The Nonexistent Knight, for instance, concerns a knight who performs many brave deeds, but who does not exist. Anything at all, they argue, can be true in a story, including contradictions and other impossibilia. While most will readily concede that we cannot objectually imagine contradictions, they nevertheless insist that we can propositionally imagine them, and regularly (...)
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  • There Are No I-Beliefs or I-Desires at Work in Fiction Consumption and This is Why.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 210-233.
    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 (...)
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  • Creativity.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2020 - In Explaining Imagination. Oxford: pp. 262-296.
    Comparatively easy questions we might ask about creativity are distinguished from the hard question of explaining transformative creativity. Many have focused on the easy questions, offering no reason to think that the imagining relied upon in creative cognition cannot be reduced to more basic folk psychological states. The relevance of associative thought processes to songwriting is then explored as a means for understanding the nature of transformative creativity. Productive artificial neural networks—known as generative antagonistic networks (GANs)—are a recent example of (...)
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  • Can Imagination Give Rise to Knowledge?Madeleine Hyde - 2021 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    My thesis centres on the question of whether imaginative states can give rise to knowledge - including whether, and the extent to which, imaginative states can justify beliefs. Across seven chapters, I answer that imaginative states can indeed give rise to knowledge. The first and final chapters introduce and summarise the thesis. In the second chapter, I ask both what different cases of imagining have in common and what sets them apart from other kinds of mental states. In the third (...)
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  • Imagining stories: attitudes and operators.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):639-664.
    This essay argues that there are theoretical benefits to keeping distinct—more pervasively than the literature has done so far—the psychological states of imagining that p versus believing that in-the-story p, when it comes to cognition of fiction and other forms of narrative. Positing both in the minds of a story’s audience helps explain the full range of reactions characteristic of story consumption. This distinction also has interesting conceptual and explanatory dimensions that haven’t been carefully observed, and the two mental state (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance and Empathic Resistance.Thomas Szanto - 2020 - Topoi 39 (4):791-802.
    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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  • From Signaling and Expression to Conversation and Fiction.Mitchell S. Green - 2019 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (3):295-315.
    This essay ties together some main strands of the author’s research spanning the last quarter-century. Because of its broad scope and space limitations, he prescinds from detailed arguments and instead intuitively motivates the general points which are supported more fully in other publications to which he provides references. After an initial delineation of several distinct notions of meaning, the author considers such a notion deriving from the evolutionary biology of communication that he terms ‘organic meaning’, and places it in the (...)
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  • Reference in Fiction.Stacie Friend - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (54):179-206.
    Most discussions of proper names in fiction concern the names of fictional characters, such as ‘Clarissa Dalloway’ or ‘Lilliput.’ Less attention has been paid to referring names in fiction, such as ‘Napoleon’ or ‘London’. This is because many philosophers simply assume that such names are unproblematic; they refer in the usual way to their ordinary referents. The alternative position, dubbed Exceptionalism by Manuel García-Carpintero, maintains that referring names make a distinctive semantic contribution in fiction. In this paper I offer a (...)
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  • Semantics of Fictional Terms.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):73-100.
    The paper provides an opinionated survey of recent contributions – roughly, in the last decade – to our understanding of how names and other referring expressions work in fictional discourse and addresses well-known philosophical worries that they raise. Views about the semantics of referring expressions in fictional discourse are usually accompanied by metaphysical views on the ontology of fictional characters, so this will also come under our focus.
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  • Inheriting the World.Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2020 - Journal of Applied Logics 7 (2):163-70.
    A critical reflection on John Woods's new monograph, Truth in Fiction – Rethinking its Logic. I focus in particular on Woods’s world-inheritance thesis (what others have variously called ‘background,’ ‘the principle of minimal departure,’ and ‘the reality assumption,’ and which replaces Woods’s earlier ‘fill-conditions’) and its interplay with auctorial say-so, arguing that world-inheritance actually constrains auctorial say-so in ways Woods has not anticipated.
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  • Imaginative Immersion, Regulation, and Doxastic Mediation.Alon Chasid - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4): 1-43.
    This paper puts forward an account of imaginative immersion. Elaborating on Kendall Walton’s thesis that imagining aims at the fictional truth, it first argues that imaginings are inherently rule- or norm-governed: they are ‘regulated’ by that which is presented as fictionally true. It then shows that an imaginer can follow the rule or norm mandating her to imagine the propositions presented as fictional truths either by acquiring explicit beliefs about how the rule (norm) is to be followed, or directly, without (...)
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  • Beliefs, Make-Beliefs, and Making Believe That Beliefs Are Not Make-Beliefs.Alberto Voltolini - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5061-5078.
    In this paper I want to hold, first, that one may suitably reconstruct the relevant kind of mental representational states that fiction typically involves, make-beliefs, as contextually unreal beliefs that, outside fiction, are either matched or non-matched by contextually real beliefs. Yet moreover, I want to claim that the kind of make-believe that may yield the mark of fictionality is not Kendall Walton’s invitation or prescription to imagine. Indeed, in order to appeal in terms of make-believe to a specific form (...)
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  • A New Class of Fictional Truths.Hannah H. Kim - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    It is widely agreed that more is true in a work of fiction than explicitly said. In addition to directly stipulated fictional content (explicit truth), inference and background assumptions give us implicit truths. However, this taxonomy of fictional truths overlooks an important class of fictional truth: those generated by literary formal features. Fictional works generate fictional content by both semantic and formal means, and content arising from formal features such as italics or font size are neither explicit nor implicit: not (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Imagining Believing.Alon Chasid - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-19.
    Suppose you’re imagining that it’s raining hard. You then proceed to imagine, as part of the same imaginative project, that you believe that it isn’t raining. Such an imaginative project is possible if the two imaginings arise in succession. But what about simultaneously imagining that it’s raining and that you believe that it isn’t raining? I will argue that, under certain conditions, such an imagining is impossible. After discussing these conditions, I will suggest an explanation of this impossibility. Elaborating on (...)
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  • Imagination in Scientific Practice.Steven French - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.
    What is the role of the imagination in scientific practice? Here I focus on the nature and role of invitations to imagine in certain scientific texts as represented by the example of Einstein’s Special Relativity paper from 1905. Drawing on related discussions in aesthetics, I argue, on the one hand, that this role cannot be simply subsumed under ‘supposition’ but that, on the other, concerns about the impact of genre and symbolism can be dealt with, and hence present no obstacle (...)
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  • An Aesthetics of Insight.John Gibson - 2019 - In Beauty: New Essays in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Munich, Germany: pp. 277-306.
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  • Pretense, Cancellation, and the Act Theory of Propositions.Manuel García-Carpintero - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Several philosophers advance substantive theories of propositions, to deal with several issues they raise in connection with a concern with a long pedigree in philosophy, the problem of the unity of propositions. The qualification ‘substantive’ is meant to contrast with ‘minimal’ or ‘deflationary’ – roughly, views that reject that propositions have a hidden nature, worth investigating. Substantive views appear to create spurious problems by characterizing propositions in ways that make them unfit to perform their theoretical jobs. I will present in (...)
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  • “‘But I Voted for Him for Other Reasons!’: Moral Permissibility and a Doctrine of Double Endorsement.Alida Liberman - 2019 - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Volume 9. pp. 138 - 160.
    Many people presume that you can permissibly support the good features of a symbol, person, activity, or work of art while simultaneously denouncing its bad features. This chapter refines and assesses this commonsense (but undertheorized) moral justification for supporting problematic people, projects, and political symbols, and proposes an analogue of the Doctrine of Double Effect called the Doctrine of Double Endorsement (DDN). DDN proposes that when certain conditions are met, it is morally permissible to directly endorse some object in virtue (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance.Emine Hande Tuna - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Imagination.Shen-yi Liao & Tamar Gendler - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To imagine is to form a mental representation that does not aim at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own. Unlike perceiving and believing, imagining something does not require one to consider that something to be the case. Unlike desiring or anticipating, imagining something does not require one to wish or expect that something (...)
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  • Fiction.Fred Kroon - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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