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Res Philosophica

Volume 93, Issue 2, April 2016

Philosophy of Fiction

Shen-yi Liao
Pages 461-482
DOI: 10.11612/resphil.2016.2.93.3

Imaginative Resistance, Narrative Engagement, Genre

Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.