•  3231
    The Problem of Imaginative Resistance
    In John Gibson & Noël Carroll (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature, Routledge. pp. 405-418. 2016.
    The problem of imaginative resistance holds interest for aestheticians, literary theorists, ethicists, philosophers of mind, and epistemologists. We present a somewhat opinionated overview of the philosophical discussion to date. We begin by introducing the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. We then review existing responses to the problem, giving special attention to recent research directions. Finally, we consider the philosophical significance that imaginative resistance has—or, at least, …Read more
  •  3182
    Alief and Belief
    Journal of Philosophy 105 (10): 634-663. 2008.
    Forthcoming, Journal of Philosophy [pdf manuscript].
  •  1036
    Pretense and Imagination
    Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 2 (1): 79-94. 2011.
    Issues of pretense and imagination are of central interest to philosophers, psychologists, and researchers in allied fields. In this entry, we provide a roadmap of some of the central themes around which discussion has been focused. We begin with an overview of pretense, imagination, and the relationship between them. We then shift our attention to the four specific topics where the disciplines' research programs have intersected or where additional interactions could prove mutually beneficial: …Read more
  •  989
    On the epistemic costs of implicit bias
    Philosophical Studies 156 (1): 33-63. 2011.
  •  902
  •  703
    Alief in Action (and Reaction)
    Mind and Language 23 (5): 552--585. 2008.
    I introduce and argue for the importance of a cognitive state that I call alief. An alief is, to a reasonable approximation, an innate or habitual propensity to respond to an apparent stimulus in a particular way. Recognizing the role that alief plays in our cognitive repertoire provides a framework for understanding reactions that are governed by nonconscious or automatic mechanisms, which in turn brings into proper relief the role played by reactions that are subject to conscious regulation an…Read more
  •  623
    Conceivability and Possibility (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2002.
    The capacity to represent things to ourselves as possible plays a crucial role both in everyday thinking and in philosophical reasoning; this volume offers much-needed philosophical illumination of conceivability, possibility, and the relations between them.
  •  508
    A brief "advertisement" in response to Roy Sorensen's "advertisement" "A Cure for Incontinence".
  •  471
    (ed. Tamar Szabo Gendler, Susanna Siegel and Steven M. Cahn) Oxford, 2007.
  •  451
  •  386
    Philosophical thought experiments, intuitions, and cognitive equilibrium
    In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical, Blackwell. pp. 68-89. 2007.
    It is a commonplace that contemplation of an imaginary particular may have cognitive and motivational effects that differ from those evoked by an abstract description of an otherwise similar state of affairs. In his Treatise on Human Nature, Hume ([1739] 1978) writes forcefully of this.
  •  382
    Origin essentialism: The arguments reconsidered
    Mind 109 (434): 285-298. 2000.
    ln "Possibilities and the Arguments for Origin Essentialism" Teresa Robertson (1998) contends that the best-known arguments in favour of origin essentialism can succeed only at the cost of violating modal common sense—by denying that any variation in constitution or process of assembly is possible. Focusing on the (Kripke-style) arguments of Nathan Salmon and Graeme Forbes, Robertson shows that both founder in the face of sophisticated Ship of Theseus style considerations. While Robertson is rig…Read more
  •  368
    Genuine Rational Fictional Emotions
    with Karson Kovakovich
    In Matthew Kieran (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, Blackwell. pp. 241-253. 2006.
    The “paradox of fictional emotions” involves a trio of claims that are jointly inconsistent but individually plausible. Resolution of the paradox thus requires that we deny at least one of these plausible claims. The paradox has been formulated in various ways, but for the purposes of this chapter, we will focus on the following three claims, which we will refer to respectively as the Response Condition, the Belief Condition and the Coordination Condition
  •  358
    Thought experiments rethought—and reperceived
    Philosophy of Science 71 (5): 1152-1163. 2004.
    Contemplating imaginary scenarios that evoke certain sorts of quasi‐sensory intuitions may bring us to new beliefs about contingent features of the natural world. These beliefs may be produced quasi‐observationally; the presence of a mental image may play a crucial cognitive role in the formation of the belief in question. And this albeit fallible quasi‐observational belief‐forming mechanism may, in certain contexts, be sufficiently reliable to count as a source of justification. This sheds ligh…Read more
  •  323
    Personal identity and thought-experiments
    Philosophical Quarterly 52 (206): 34-54. 2002.
    Through careful analysis of a specific example, Parfit’s ‘fission argument’ for the unimportance of personal identity, I argue that our judgements concerning imaginary scenarios are likely to be unreliable when the scenarios involve disruptions of certain contingent correlations. Parfit’s argument depends on our hypothesizing away a number of facts which play a central role in our understanding and employment of the very concept under investigation; as a result, it fails to establish what Parfit clai…Read more
  •  284
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2016.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted …Read more
  •  248
    Galileo and the indispensability of scientific thought experiment
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3): 397-424. 1998.
    By carefully examining one of the most famous thought experiments in the history of science—that by which Galileo is said to have refuted the Aristotelian theory that heavier bodies fall faster than lighter ones—I attempt to show that thought experiments play a distinctive role in scientific inquiry. Reasoning about particular entities within the context of an imaginary scenario can lead to rationally justified concluusions that—given the same initial information—would not be rationally justifia…Read more
  •  239
    Self-Deception as Pretense
    Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1). 2007.
    I propose that paradigmatic cases of self-deception satisfy the following conditions: (a) the person who is self-deceived about not-P pretends (in the sense of makes-believe or imagines or fantasizes) that not-P is the case, often while believing that P is the case and not believing that not-P is the case; (b) the pretense that not-P largely plays the role normally played by belief in terms of (i) introspective vivacity and (ii) motivation of action in a wide range of circumstances. Understandin…Read more
  •  222
    – develop self-knowledge [Socrates] – cultivate internal harmony [Plato] – foster virtue through habit [Aristotle] – cultivate and appreciate true friendship [Cicero] – recognize what is and is not in your control [Epictetus].
  •  215
    On the relation between pretense and belief
    In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Imagination Philosophy and the Arts, Routledge. pp. 125--141. 2003.
    By the age of two, children are able to engage in highly elaborate games of symbolic pretense, in which objects and actions in the actual world are taken to stand for objects and actions in a realm of make-believe. These games of pretense are marked by the presence of two central features, which I will call quarantining and mirroring (see also Leslie 1987; Perner 1991). Quarantining is manifest to the extent that events within the pretense-episode are taken to have effects only within that prete…Read more
  •  205
    Exceptional persons: On the limits of imaginary cases
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (5-6): 592-610. 1998.
    It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. It is well he knows that it is long enough to reach the bottom at such places as are necessary to direct his voyage, and caution him against running upon shoals that may ruin him.
  •  194
    Empiricism, rationalism and the limits of justification (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3). 2001.
    BonJour’s intricately argued and provocative book raises a fundamental challenge for the empiricist: if we lack the capacity for direct apprehension of necessary truths, how do we know so much? How do we know about logic and mathematics and other apparently a priori subjects? How do we know about generalities, about the past and the future, about objects that are not present? How do we know about the relations that hold between premises and conclusions? If the first half of BonJour’s book is rig…Read more
  •  184
    In this volume, Tamar Gendler draws together fourteen essays that together illuminate this topic. Three intertwined themes connect the essays.
  •  180
    In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Center For the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University. 2011.
  •  174
    Imaginative contagion
    Metaphilosophy 37 (2): 183-203. 2006.
    The aim of this article is to expand the diet of examples considered in philosophical discussions of imagination and pretense, and to offer some preliminary observations about what we might learn about the nature of imagination as a result. The article presents a number of cases involving imaginative contagion: cases where merely imagining or pretending that P has effects that we would expect only perceiving or believing that P to have. Examples are offered that involve visual imagery, motor ima…Read more
  •  147
    Perceptual Experience (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2006.
    In the last few years there has been an explosion of philosophical interest in perception; after decades of neglect, it is now one of the most fertile areas for new work. Perceptual Experience presents new work by fifteen of the world's leading philosophers. All papers are written specially for this volume, and they cover a broad range of topics dealing with sensation and representation, consciousness and awareness, and the connections between perception and knowledge and between perception and …Read more
  •  116
    Analysis 72 (4): 759-764. 2012.
  •  114
    I—The Third Horse: On Unendorsed Association and Human Behaviour
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 88 (1): 185-218. 2014.
    On one standard reading, Plato's works contain at least two distinct views about the structure of the human soul. According to the first, there is a crucial unity to human psychology: there is a dominant faculty that is capable of controlling attention and behaviour in a way that not only produces right action, but also ‘silences’ inclinations to the contrary—at least in idealized circumstances. According to the second, the human soul contains multiple autonomous parts, and although one of them,…Read more