Imaginative Fragility at APA Pacific 2023

I’ll be presenting my paper titled “Imaginative Fragility” at the upcoming APA Pacific conference on April 5th at 1 pm. I feel fortunate to be joined by an outstanding group of panelists, and I’m grateful to Olivia Bailey for bringing us together.

Here is the abstract of my talk:

Leyla, Fatma’s daughter, tells her that she is no longer in love with her spouse and wants to get a divorce. Fatma feels like she cannot imagine, let alone comprehend, why one would want to end a marriage because they are no longer in love. She can’t bring herself to imagine it because even the mere act of imagining it feels as though it would shatter her whole worldview. She was never in love with her own spouse, her mom was not in love with her father. Indeed, it never occurred to her that marriage involved such kind of feelings or commitments. Of course, she has watched many romantic Turkish soap operas, but she always thought that loving marriages or the idea of marrying for love were all purely fictional and have nothing to do with her reality. At times, she had contemplated what it means to be in love and felt some yearning for it but she never considered that marriage has anything to do with love. So now when Leyla tells her that she can no longer be with her husband because she is not in love, she cannot imagine why love has got something to do with marriage. 

I call this phenomenon Fatma experiences “imaginative fragility.” I claim that it occurs when an otherwise competent imaginer feels unwillingness or inability to engage in an imaginative activity because they perceive it as an existential threat to themselves. In this paper, my aim is to define imaginative fragility. To clarify this phenomenon, I compare it to cognitive dissonance and imaginative resistance. I argue some of the cases that we associate with cognitive dissonance may actually be cases of imaginative fragility. And some cases of imaginative resistance – but not all – can also be cases of imaginative fragility. Additionally, I claim that cases where we feel resistance or inability to engage with imaginative activities prompted by works of fiction are not always cases of imaginative resistance, but they are cases of imaginative fragility. Therefore, imaginative resistance cases and imaginative fragility cases do not always overlap.

Kant on Extrinsic Final Value – NAKS Biennial 2023

I will be presenting my paper, “Objective Purposiveness and Extrinsic Final Value”, at the Biennial Meeting of the North American Kant Society in March 2023, in Mexico City.

Here is the abstract: This paper proposes an alternative Kantian approach to extrinsic final value, namely the value we attribute to an object for its own sake due to its extrinsic features. Then it explores the merits of the approach in relation to extant views, Christine Korsgaard’s and Wlodek Rabinowicz and Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen’s.

Here is the handout.

Hex and I on Kant street in Mexico City

Bolzano’s Aesthetics – APA Eastern 2023

I will be giving a talk titled “Bolzano’s Cognitivism” on a panel on Bolzano’s aesthetics alongside Dominic McIver Lopes, Sandra Shapsay, and Clinton Tolley.

Here is the abstract: This paper examines Bernard Bolzano’s aesthetic cognitivism. One main identifying marker of aesthetic cognitivism is the belief that aesthetic experience is actual cognition. However, aesthetic cognitivism comes in many flavors, each with its own additional commitments. Bolzano’s cognitivism has a German Rationalist flavor to it and is reminiscent of the accounts of earlier German rationalists like Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten and Christian Wolff, one of the fathers of rationalism. As a result, it may appear constrained, rigid, or even archaic. To begin, the features of his philosophy that contribute to this perception, as well as the points of disagreement between Bolzano and the rationalists, will be identified. It will then be argued that, while incorporating various rationalist elements into his theory of aesthetics, Bolzano developed a distinct brand of aesthetic cognitivism.