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Bettcher, Talia Mae, , . Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Rethinking Trans Oppression and Resistance
2014, Signs: Journal of Women Culture and Society, 39 (2): 383 – 406.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Rory Wilson

Abstract: In this essay, I defend an account of trans oppression and resistance that departs from the prevailing transgender model. While I show why both the “trapped in the wrong body” model and the transgender model are problematic, I also illuminate how the former can be seen as a resistant narrative. The new account has two key ideas. First, I draw from María Lugones’s work to defend a model of multiple meanings, arguing that the traditional accounts assume dominant meanings while foreclosing resistant ones. Second, I draw from the recent literature on the transphobic representation of trans people as deceivers to argue that reality enforcement is an important consequence of dominant ways of doing gender. The traditional wrong-body narrative can be seen as resisting reality enforcement.

Comment: This article can pair well with teaching on gender or transgender / queer philosophy. Compliments the work of Rachel MacKinnon.

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Eaton, A. W., , . Robust Immoralism
2012, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (3):281-292.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Introduction: Several years after the end of the HBO series The Sopranos , I still miss the characters. In particu lar, I miss the protagonist, Tony, who feels like an old friend. This affection of mine for the fictional mob boss gives me pause. After all, Tony Soprano is a murderer, a liar, a thief, an extortionist, and a womanizer; he is pathologically callous, selfish, bigoted, racist, homophobic, and self-centered. So why do I sympathize with him? Why do I admire him? What makes me like him so much?

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

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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, , . 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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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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