Shakespeare’s plays abound with kings and leaders who crave a public stage and seize every opportunity to make their lives a performance: Antony, Cleopatra, Richard III, Othello, and many others. Such self-dramatizing characters appear in the work of other playwrights of the era as well, Marlowe’s Edward II and Tamburlaine among them. But Elizabethan playwrights were not alone in realizing that a sense of theater was essential to the exercise of power. Real rulers knew it, too, and none better (...) than Queen Elizabeth. In this fascinating study of political stagecraft in the Elizabethan era, Garry Wills explores a period of vast cultural and political change during which the power of make-believe to make power real was not just a theory but an essential truth. Wills examines English culture as Catholic Christianity’s rituals were being overturned and a Protestant queen took the throne. New iconographies of power were necessary for the new Renaissance liturgy to displace the medieval church-state. The author illuminates the extensive imaginative constructions that went into Elizabeth’s reign and the explosion of great Tudor and Stuart drama that provided the imaginative power to support her long and successful rule. (shrink)
In this paper I propose an account of representation for scientific models based on Kendall Walton’s ‘make-believe’ theory of representation in art. I first set out the problem of scientific representation and respond to a recent argument due to Craig Callender and Jonathan Cohen, which aims to show that the problem may be easily dismissed. I then introduce my account of models as props in games of make-believe and show how it offers a solution to the (...) problem. Finally, I demonstrate an important advantage my account has over other theories of scientific representation. All existing theories analyse scientific representation in terms of relations, such as similarity or denotation. By contrast, my account does not take representation in modelling to be essentially relational. For this reason, it can accommodate a group of models often ignored in discussions of scientific representation, namely models which are representational but which represent no actual object. (shrink)
This paper develops an analysis of the relation between fiction and make-believe based on the achievements of imagination. The argument aims at a “reciprocal supplementation” between two approaches to fiction. According to one approach, pretense or make-believe structures play a crucial role in our experience of fiction. Discussing Husserl’s view on bound imagining and Walton’s account of fiction as make-believe, I show why pretense and make-believe cannot thereby be reduced to the mere (...) reproduction of something we would experience as original. According to the other approach, which is presented in Ricoeur’s work on imagination, fiction exemplifies a productive or creative power of imagination that is not active in pretense or make-believe activities. The reciprocal supplementation between these two approaches concerns the following aspects: on the one hand, I wish show why Husserl and Walton allow us to rectify Ricoeur’s claim that make-believe is only reproductive. On the other hand, taking up some of Ricoeur’s insights, I wish to clarify why such an impact should be understood in terms of transformation. (shrink)
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. (...) In this article, I examine the prospects of understanding our engagement with competitive games on the model of our engagement with works of fiction, thus enabling analogous explanations for both puzzles. I show that there are significant problems with such an approach and offer an alternative, mobilizing ideas from David Velleman and Thomas Nagel, that appeals to the volatility of our motivational attitudes. (shrink)
Roman Frigg and Adam Toon, both, defend a fictionalist view of scientific modeling. One fundamental thesis of their view is that scientists are participating in games of make-believe when they study models in order to learn about the models themselves and about target systems represented by the models. In this paper, the epistemology of these two fictionalist views is critically discussed. I will argue that both views can give an explanation of how scientists learn about models they are (...) studying. However, how the use of models can foster an understanding of target systems is not sufficiently accounted for by Frigg and Toon. (shrink)
In "Rethinking Sadomasochism," Patrick Hopkins challenges the "radical" feminist claim that sadomasochism is incompatible with feminism. He does so by appeal to the notion of "simulation." I argue that Hopkins's conclusions are generally right, but they cannot be inferred from his "simulation" argument. I replace Hopkins's "simulation" with Kendall Walton's more sophisticated theory of "make-believe." I use this theory to better argue that privately conducted sadomasochism is compatible with feminism.
I explore some of the reasons why, under specific circumstances, it may be rational to make-believe or imagine certain religious beliefs. Adopting a jargon familiar to certain contemporary philosophers, my main concern here is to assess what reasons can be given for adopting a fictionalist stance towards some religious beliefs. My understanding of fictionalism does not involve solely a propositional attitude but a broader stance, which may include certain acts of pretence. I also argue that a plausible reason (...) to be fictionalist about a specific set of religious beliefs and practices has to do with the value of some artistic creations; namely, those that require the adoption of a religious point of view for their understanding. (shrink)
This essay examines the stereotype that transgender people are “deceivers” and the stereotype's role in promoting and excusing transphobic violence. The stereotype derives from a contrast between gender presentation and sexed body. Because gender presentation represents genital status, Bettcher argues, people who “misalign” the two are viewed as deceivers. The author shows how this system of gender presentation as genital representation is part of larger sexist and racist systems of violence and oppression.
: This essay examines the stereotype that transgender people are "deceivers" and the stereotype's role in promoting and excusing transphobic violence. The stereotype derives from a contrast between gender presentation and sexed body. Because gender presentation represents genital status, Bettcher argues, people who "misalign" the two are viewed as deceivers. The author shows how this system of gender presentation as genital representation is part of larger sexist and racist systems of violence and oppression.
‘We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth’, so Christians confess when they recite the Nicene Creed. Now if the argument of Mark S. McLeod-Harrison’s Make/Believing the World: Toward a Christian Ontological Pluralism is correct, God is not alone in that task. We human beings are makers of heaven and earth, too, in the sense that what exists is as it is because our minds have made it so, which is a kind (...) of noetic irrealism. Now noetic irrealism about heaven and earth quickly leads to ontological pluralism, that is, that there isn’t just one way heaven and earth, that is, the world, is; rather, there are many ways the world is, not all of which are compatible with each other. So, there are many heavens and earths, many worlds, created, in part, by human noetic feats. But worlds can’t be created just any way; there are limits to the ways a world might be, for instance, they must be internally consistent. But what provides these limits? These limits are given by a unity of the worlds which yield the boundaries within which our noetic feats may create a world. And what could provide this unity? …. (shrink)
This afterword extends and refines the arguments presented in Cohen and Jacobs . The main point made by the authors is that the antidepressant randomized controlled trial world is a make-believe world in which researchers act as if a bona fide medical experiment is being conducted. From the assumed existence of the “disorder” and the assumed homogeneity of the treatment groups, through the validity of rating scales and the meaning of their scores, to the presentations of researchers’ ratings (...) as the genuine outcome of interest — all aspects of such trials are make-believe. The continued acceptance of randomized controlled trials as appropriate mechanisms to ascertain the actual effects of psychoactive drugs on human beings in distress confirms that researchers are inextricably dependent on large-scale organizational and financial interests that require the sustained production of make-believe results about psychoactive drugs. (shrink)
_A penetrating study of the images, symbols, pageants, and creative performances ambitious Elizabethans used to secure political power_ Shakespeare’s plays abound with kings and leaders who crave a public stage and seize every opportunity to make their lives a performance: Antony, Cleopatra, Richard III, Othello, and many others. Such self-dramatizing characters appear in the work of other playwrights of the era as well, Marlowe’s Edward II and Tamburlaine among them. But Elizabethan playwrights were not alone in realizing that a (...) sense of theater was essential to the exercise of power. Real rulers knew it, too, and none better than Queen Elizabeth. In this fascinating study of political stagecraft in the Elizabethan era, Garry Wills explores a period of vast cultural and political change during which the power of make-believe to make power real was not just a theory but an essential truth. Wills examines English culture as Catholic Christianity’s rituals were being overturned and a Protestant queen took the throne. New iconographies of power were necessary for the new Renaissance liturgy to displace the medieval church-state. The author illuminates the extensive imaginative constructions that went into Elizabeth’s reign and the explosion of great Tudor and Stuart drama that provided the imaginative power to support her long and successful rule. (shrink)
Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some (...) find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). Elisabeth Camp has argued against my and David Hills’ views of metaphor. Her arguments, many of them echoed by Catharine Wearing, demolish a very implausible account of metaphor, but leave entirely untouched the views that Hills and I actually proposed. Clarifying what we say about metaphor serves also as a defense of fictionalist theories that invoke prop oriented make-believe. (shrink)
In this study we offer a new way of applying Kendall Walton’s theory of make-believe to musical experiences in terms of psychologically inhibited games of make-believe, which Walton attributes chiefly to ornamental representations. Reading Walton’s theory somewhat against the grain, and supplementing our discussion with a set of instructive examples, we argue that there is clear theoretical gain in explaining certain important aspects of composition and performance in terms of psychologically inhibited games of make-believe (...) consisting of two interlaced game-worlds. Such complex games can accommodate a continuous rich spectrum of congruent modes of listening, which broaches both the formalist-type and the narrativist-type. We conclude that this sort of oblique reading of Walton’s original theory actually complements and completes Walton’s recent theoretic angle concerning thoughtwriting in music by way of affording it with a suitable conception for a mechanism of appropriation for music. (shrink)
ABSTRACTHow is it that we can rationally assert that sport outcomes do not really matter, while also seeming to care about them to an absurd degree? This is the so-called puzzle of sport. The broadly Waltonian solution to the puzzle has it that we make-believe the outcomes matter. Recently, Stear has critiqued this Waltonian solution, raising a series of five objections. He has also leveraged these objections to motive his own contextualist solution to the puzzle. The aim of (...) this paper is to defend the Waltonian solution. The general upshot is that, contra Stear, a make-believe based solution to the puzzle is viable after all. (shrink)
The descriptions and theoretical laws scientists write down when they model a system are often false of any real system. And yet we commonly talk as if there were objects that satisfy the scientists’ assumptions and as if we may learn about their properties. Many attempt to make sense of this by taking the scientists’ descriptions and theoretical laws to define abstract or fictional entities. In this paper, I propose an alternative account of theoretical modelling that draws upon Kendall (...) Walton’s ‘make-believe’ theory of representation in art. I argue that this account allows us to understand theoretical modelling without positing any object of which scientists’ modelling assumptions are true. (shrink)
The statement “Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth” seems true in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice (even though it may not actually appear in the text) while the statement “Mr. Darcy is a detective” seems false. One explanation for this intuition is that when we read or talk about fictional stories, we implicitly employ the fictional operator “It is fictional that” or “It is part of the story that.” “It is fictional that Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth” expresses a true proposition (...) while “It is fictional that Mr. Darcy is a detective” does not. Fictive statements can be abbreviated as “In F, P”. Determining what statements are fictionally true in a story requires providing truth conditions for statements of the form “In F, P.” This paper proposes an analysis of truth in fiction and examines the notion of make-believe. (shrink)
A caricature can reveal an aspect of its subject that a more faithful representation would fail to render: by depicting a slow and clumsy person as a monkey one can point out such qualities of the depicted subject, and by depicting a person with quite big ears as a person with enormous ears one can point out that the depicted person has rather big ears. How can a form of representation that is by definition inaccurate be so representationally powerful? Figurative (...) language raises a similar puzzle. Metaphors, taken at face value, are usually false: men are not wolves. The same goes for hyperbolic talk: Putnam did not change his position one billion times in his career. Still, figurative language is expressively powerful: by saying that human beings are wolves or that Putnam changed his position one billion times in his career one conveys, in a very vivid way, some true information about the world (something concerning the facts that human beings are cruel and that Putnam frequently changed opinion). Kendall Walton (1993) provides an elegant explanation of the expressive utility of figurative language by linking metaphor and prop oriented make-believe. We explore the hypothesis that the theory of prop oriented make-believe can also explain the representational efficacy of caricatures. (shrink)