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Stock, Kathleen. Resisting Imaginative Resistance
2005, Philosophical Quarterly 55: 607-24.
Added by: Andrea Blomqvist

Abstract: Recently, philosophers have identified certain fictional propositions with which one does not imaginatively engage, even where one is transparently intended by their authors to do so. One approach to explaining this categorizes it as ‘resistance’, that is, as deliberate failure to imagine that the relevant propositions are true; the phenomenon has become generally known (misleadingly) as ‘the puzzle of imaginative resistance’. I argue that this identification is incorrect, and I dismiss several other explanations. I then propose a better one, that in central cases of imaginative failure, the basis for the failure is the contingent incomprehensibility of the relevant propositions.

Comment: The literature on imaginative resistance is a vast one in philosophy of fiction. This gives one response to the problem, and would be a useful text for students to have paired with Gendler's original paper on imaginative resistance.

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