I will be presenting my paper, “Kant on the Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance,” at the APA Central in February 2021. Hopefully, in person, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Here is the abstract:
Abstract: The phenomenon of “imaginative resistance” (IR) refers to psychological difficulties otherwise competent imaginers experience when engaging in particular imaginative activities prompted by works of fiction. While the topic has attracted considerable philosophical attention, so far no historical investigation of the phenomenon has been carried out. I want to amend this gap in the literature by constructing a Kantian explanation. The choice to focus on Kant is not arbitrary. We can derive important insights from his empirical psychology which allow us to articulate certain aspects of IR that have been neglected, particularly the role of emotions. The main Kantian contribution to this debate, as I will show, is to upset the polarization between rival explanations of IR, by suggesting that our possible responses to morally flawed works can vary. In some cases, we resist imagining counter-evaluative claims due to our unwillingness to do so, and in others, due to an inability.