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5.1h.1. Imaginative Resistance (Imaginative Resistance on PhilPapers)

Driver, Julia (2008). Imaginative resistance and psychological necessity. Social Philosophy and Policy 25 (1):301-313.   (Google)
Gendler, Tamar Szabo (2006). Imaginative resistance revisited. In Shaun Nichols (ed.), The Architecture of the Imagination. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Gendler, Tamar Szabó (2000). The puzzle of imaginative resistance. Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):55-81.   (Google | More links)
Levy, Neil (2005). Imaginative resistance and the moral/conventional distinction. Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):231 – 241.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Children, even very young children, distinguish moral from conventional transgressions, inasmuch as they hold that the former, but not the latter, would still be wrong if there was no rule prohibiting them. Many people have taken this finding as evidence that morality is objective, and therefore universal. I argue that reflection on the phenomenon of imaginative resistance will lead us to question these claims. If a concept applies in virtue of the obtaining of a set of more basic facts, then it is authority independent, and we therefore resist the attempts of authorities to claim that it does not apply. Thus, the moral/conventional distinction is a product of imaginative resistance to claims that a concept does not apply when its supervenience base is in place (or vice versa). All we can rightfully conclude from the fact that children are disposed to make the moral/conventional distinction is that our moral concepts belong to the class of authority-independent concepts. Though the set of basic facts in virtue of which an authority-independent concept obtains must be objective, the concept itself might be conventional, inasmuch as we could easily draw its boundaries wider or narrower, or fail to have a concept that corresponds to these properties at all
Matravers, Derek (2003). Fictional assent and the (so-called) `puzzle of imaginative resistance'. In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts. Routledge.   (Google)
Mothersill, Mary (2006). Make-believe morality and fictional worlds. In José Luis Bermúdez & Sebastian Gardner (eds.), Arts and Morality. Routledge.   (Google)
Nichols, Shaun (ed.) (2006). The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: This volume brings together specially written essays by leading researchers on the propositional imagination. This is the mental capacity we exploit when we imagine that Holmes has a bad habit or that there are zombies. It plays an essential role in philosophical theorizing, engaging with fiction, and indeed in everyday life. The Architecture of the Imagination capitalizes on recent attempts to give a cognitive account of this capacity, extending the theoretical picture and exploring the philosophical implications
Smuts, Aaron (2006). V. F. Perkins' Functional Credibility and the Problem of Imaginative Resistance. Film and Philosophy 10 (1):85-99.   (Google)
Abstract: Echoing Beardsley's trinity of unity, complexity, and intensity, Perkins develops three interrelated criteria on which to base an evaluation of film: credibility, coherence, and significance. I assess whether Perkins criteria of credibility serves as a useful standard for film criticism. Most of the effort will be devoted to charitably reconstructing the notion of credibility by bringing together some of Perkins' particular comments. Then I will briefly examine whether Perkins has successfully achieved his goal of developing standards of judgment by holding credibility up to his own criteria of successful meta-criticism: "The clarification of standards should help to develop the disciplines of criticism without seeking to lay obligations on the film-maker" (p. 59). Although I argue that Perkins fails to achieve his goal, his criterion of credibility remains a useful mechanism for evaluating artistic attempts to achieve a particular end, namely spectator immersion. A limited domain of application for his criteria might seem to leave us with little more than an idiosyncratic expression of his classicist artistic taste, but Film as Film also contains valuable insights relevant to the so called "problem of imaginative resistance."
Stock, Kathleen (2005). Resisting imaginative resistance. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):607–624.   (Google | More links)
Stokes, Dustin R. (2006). The evaluative character of imaginative resistance. British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (4):287-405.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: A fiction may prescribe imagining that a pig can talk or tell the future. A fiction may prescribe imagining that torturing innocent persons is a good thing. We generally comply with imaginative prescriptions like the former, but not always with prescriptions like the latter: we imagine non-evaluative fictions without difficulty but sometimes resist imagining value-rich fictions. Thus arises the puzzle of imaginative resistance. Most analyses of the phenomenon focus on the content of the relevant imaginings. The present analysis focuses instead on the character of certain kinds of imaginings, arguing that we resist in such cases given the rich evaluative character of the imaginings prescribed, and the agent-dependent constraints on imagining in such ways
Stock, Kathleen (2003). The tower of goldbach and other impossible tales. In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts. Routledge.   (Google)
Todd, Cain Samuel (2009). Imaginability, morality, and fictional truth: Dissolving the puzzle of 'imaginative resistance'. Philosophical Studies 143 (2):187-211.   (Google)
Abstract: This paper argues that there is no genuine puzzle of ‘imaginative resistance’. In part 1 of the paper I argue that the imaginability of fictional propositions is relative to a range of different factors including the ‘thickness’ of certain concepts, and certain pre-theoretical and theoretical commitments. I suggest that those holding realist moral commitments may be more susceptible to resistance and inability than those holding non-realist commitments, and that it is such realist commitments that ultimately motivate the problem. However, I argue that the relativity of imaginability is not a particularly puzzling feature of imagination. In part 2, I claim that it is the so-called ‘alethic’ puzzle, concerning fictional truth, which generates a real puzzle about imaginative resistance. However, I argue that the alethic puzzle itself depends on certain realist assumptions about the nature of fictional truth which are implausible and should be rejected in favour of an interpretive view of fictional truth. Once this is done, I contend, it becomes evident that the supposed problem of imaginative resistance as it has hitherto been discussed in the literature is not puzzling at all
Walton, Kendall Lewis (1994). Morals in fiction and fictional morality (I). Proceedings of Aristotelian Society:27-50.   (Google)
Walton, Kendall Lewis (2006). On the (so-called) puzzle of imaginative resistance. In Shaun Nichols (ed.), The Architecture of the Imagination. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Weatherson, Brian (2004). Morality, fiction, and possibility. Philosophers' Imprint 4 (3):1-27.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Authors have a lot of leeway with regard to what they can make true in their story. In general, if the author says that p is true in the fiction we’re reading, we believe that p is true in that fiction. And if we’re playing along with the fictional game, we imagine that, along with everything else in the story, p is true. But there are exceptions to these general principles. Many authors, most notably Kendall Walton and Tamar Szabó Gendler, have discussed apparent counterexamples when p is “morally deviant”. Many other statements that are conceptually impossible also seem to be counterexamples. In this paper I do four things. I survey the range of counterexamples, or at least putative counterexamples, to the principles. Then I look to explanations of the counterexamples. I argue, following Gendler, that the explanation cannot simply be that morally deviant claims are impossible. I argue that the distinctive attitudes we have towards moral propositions cannot explain the counterexamples, since some of the examples don’t involve moral concepts. And I put forward a proposed explanation that turns on the role of ‘higher-level concepts’, concepts that if they are satisfied are satisfied in virtue of more fundamental facts about the world, in fiction, and in imagination