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Gendler, Tamar, , . Imaginative Resistance Revisisted
2006, In Shaun Nichols (ed.), The Architecture of the Imagination. Oxford University Press. pp. 149-173 (2006)
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by:

Summary: This chapter discusses the puzzle of imaginative resistance, partially defending and partially refining the account presented in the previous chapter. It explores imaginative resistance as a special case of a more general puzzle the author calls the puzzle of authoritative breakdown: that when an author follows standard conventions for fictionally asserting P, engaged readers typically imagine P—but in some cases this relation falls apart. The bulk of the chapter is devoted to systematically identifying and explaining where and why this breakdown occurs, and to drawing connections with the literature on metaphor and perspective‐taking. The author’s views are contrasted with those of David Hume, Brian Weatherson, Gregory Currie, Stephen Yablo, and Shaun Nichols.

Comment: This paper would compliment other papers on imaginative resistance well in a module where this is the focus.

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Gendler, Tamar, , . Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology
2010, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Publisher’s Note: This volume consists of fourteen chapters that focus on a trio of interrelated themes. First: what are the powers and limits of appeals to intuition in supporting or refuting various sorts of claims? Second: what are the cognitive consequences of engaging with content that is represented as imaginary or otherwise unreal? Third: what are the implications of these issues for the methodology of philosophy more generally? These themes are explored in a variety of cases, including thought experiments in science and philosophy, early childhood pretense, self?deception, cognitive and emotional engagement with fiction, mental and motor imagery, automatic and habitual behavior, and social categorization.

Comment: The book contains fourteen previously published essays. The first six essays are on thought experiments and the use of the imagination therein. Mainly, these essays take up the tasks of explaining how thought experiments produce novel beliefs and explaining whether and how thought experiments justify beliefs. Those are good papers for teachings on methodology of philosophy and intuitions. The next six essays are on imagination in general: its nature, its role in motivating action and producing emotion, and its relations to other mental states. It covers a range of topics including the paradox of fictional emotions and the nature of self-deception, the puzzle of imaginative resistance, the problem of the precipice. The topic of the last two essays is a mental state called “alief” which are highly relevant materials for teachings on mental states in action, implicit bias and etc.

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Gendler, Tamar, , . The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance
2000, Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55-81
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: This chapter presents and discusses the puzzle of imaginative resistance: the puzzle of explaining our comparative difficulty in imagining fictional worlds that we take to be morally deviant. It suggests that the primary source of imaginative resistance lies not in our inability to imagine morally deviant situations, but in our unwillingness to do so. This diagnosis is then used to illuminate the nature of imagination itself: unlike belief, the contents of imagination are not restricted to those things we take to be true; but unlike mere supposition, imagination involves a certain sort of engaged participation on the part of the imaginer. The chapter also includes a brief discussion of the issue of truth‐in‐fiction. The author’s views on the puzzle are contrasted with those of David Hume, Richard Moran, and Kendall Walton.

Comment: Gendler argues here that there is truly a problem of imaginative restistance, and that it demonstrates something about the nature of imagination. This is a good introductory paper to the problem of imaginative resistance and the nature of imagination. It would be very suitable in a module focusing on philosophy of fiction.

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Liao, Shen-yi, , Gendler, Tamar Szabó. Pretense and Imagination
2011, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 2 (1):79-94.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by:

Abstract: Issues of pretense and imagination are of central interest to philosophers, psychologists, and researchers in allied fields. In this entry, we provide a roadmap of some of the central themes around which discussion has been focused. We begin with an overview of pretense, imagination, and the relationship between them. We then shift our attention to the four specific topics where the disciplines’ research programs have intersected or where additional interactions could prove mutually beneficial: the psychological underpinnings of performing pretense and of recognizing pretense, the cognitive capacities involved in imaginative engagement with fictions, and the real-world impact of make-believe. In the final section, we discuss more briefly a number of other mental activities that arguably involve imagining, including counterfactual reasoning, delusions, and dreaming.

Comment: Imagination and pretense are closely related concepts. This article could be used in teaching to get students thinking about the relationship, as well as introduce them to the vast psychological research that has been done on pretense play.

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Mahtani, Anna, , . Imaginative resistance without conflict
2012, Philosophical Studies 158 (3):415-429.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: I examine a range of popular solutions to the puzzle of imaginative resistance. According to each solution in this range, imaginative resistance occurs only when we are asked to imagine something that conflicts with what we believe. I show that imaginative resistance can occur without this sort of conflict, and so that every solution in the range under consideration fails. I end by suggesting a new explanation for imaginative resistance – the Import Solution – which succeeds where the other solutions considered fail

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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

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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