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Only ImagineFiction, Interpretation and Imagination$
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Kathleen Stock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798347.001.0001

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Fiction, Belief, and ‘Imaginative Resistance’

Fiction, Belief, and ‘Imaginative Resistance’

Chapter:
(p.114) 4 Fiction, Belief, and ‘Imaginative Resistance’
Source:
Only Imagine
Author(s):

Kathleen Stock

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198798347.003.0005

The chapter starts with a focus on the relation between fiction and the inculcation of justified belief via testimony. The claim, relied upon in Chapter 3, that fictions can be sources of testimony and so justified belief, is defended. Then the fact that fictive utterances can, effectively, instruct readers to have beliefs, is implicated in a new explanation of ‘imaginative resistance’. The author suggests that the right account of this phenomenon should cite the reader’s perception of an authorial intention that she believe a counterfactual, which in fact she cannot believe. This view is defended against several rivals, and distinguished from certain other views, including the influential view of Tamar Gendler. Finally there is a consideration of whether one can propositionally imagine what one believes to be conceptually impossible.

Keywords:   fiction, testimony, belief, imagination, imaginative resistance

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