Imagination Unblocked

Aaron Meskin and Jonathan M. Weinberg

in The Aesthetic Mind

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199691517
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731815 | DOI:
Imagination Unblocked

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Some things are very hard to imagine, and not necessarily because they are complicated or hard to understand. This phenomenon of "imaginative resistance" has been examined by many philosophers in recent years, and we presented an account of its cognitive architecture in an earlier work. This paper explores an interesting aspect of this psychological phenomenon that has thus far garnered little attention: some authors, in the right circumstances, can deploy techniques that render what would typically be unimaginable into the imagined stuff of fiction. In this paper we extend our earlier account of the cognitive architecture of imaginative resistance to accommodate, and offer an empirically-motivated explanation for, the various ways in which authors may circumvent or overcome blocks to the imagination.

Keywords: imaginative resistance; cognitive architecture; fiction

Chapter.  7823 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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