Nils Franzén: "A Humean Diagnosis of Imaginative Resistance"

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

Nils Franzén, Uppsala University: "A Humean Diagnosis of Imaginative Resistance"


Abstract
The alethic puzzle of imaginative resistance is the question why we refuse to accept strange evaluative claims as being true in fictions, even though we are happy to go along with other types of absurdities in such contexts. For instance, we would refuse to accept the following statement as true, even in the context of a fiction:

(i) In killing her baby, Giselda did the right thing; after all, it was a girl.

David Hume is often credited with being the first to call attention to this phenomenon. In this talk, I revisit Hume original remarks on the phenomenon, and argue that it contains the germ of a diagnosis that is more plausible than any suggestion made in recent literature on the topic.