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But the foregoing consideration suggests that this might be the case just because the theory bakes those qualifications into the precisification of the concepts of intention and f-imagination that it employs.

State of affairs (philosophy)

Nonetheless, Stock's approach accommodates what is plausible in those other theories without surrendering the central principle of EI. For her fundamental disagreement with the alternative approaches is that each presents itself as an exclusive account of what determines the meaning of a fictional text or utterance , whereas she argues that each only exemplifies a potentially appropriate strategy for determining such meaning. Whether a given strategy is the right one -- the one that discloses the fictional content of a text -- depends on whether the text's author sanctions that strategy in her intentions.

It is only, e. On fictional content: of course, arguments against theories like EI often say that there are many sorts of meanings that can be attributed to fictions that the theory could not explain.

Imagery and Imagination

Stock agrees, and sensibly resists greedily accounting for all kinds of literary "meaning" a term whose ambiguity encourages some licentious critical practices. This narrowing of the domain of fictional content to what readers are intentionally caused to imagine makes her account stronger and its commitments more explicit and readily assessable.

However, it may be that, so pruned, her account ends up talking past her putative opponents in the intentionalist camp, each of which advances its own proprietary notion of meaning. A disagreement is clearer in comparing EI with approaches to truth in fiction that eschew any reference to authorial intentions, such as that developed by David Lewis based on possible world semantics.

The problems with Lewis's theory are familiar. Still, here and throughout , Stock's nuanced use of genuine literary works in place of philosophers' usually contrived illustrations of counterfactuals is not merely a decorative flourish to her formal argument, but exposes the limits of any possible worlds approach in systematizing our intuitions about fictions. Whatever Lewis demonstrated about the "truth in fiction," it is does not conform to a plausible rational reconstruction of conventional literary practices.


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A text representing a fictional world could be description by description identical to one representing a possible world, with literary dimensions such as genre considerations and symbolism supplying a content to the former that would be withheld from the latter. In the end, Stock's theory is the product of a reflective equilibrium among somewhat revisionary conceptions of intention, imagination, and fictional truth.

One way to assess its adequacy, beyond its internal consistency, is to consider its success in illuminating other adjacent but still significant philosophical questions about fiction. In the latter half of the book Stock shows how EI can provide satisfying answers to such questions. I'll briefly describe her approach to three: how fiction can have cognitive value; the explanation of imaginative resistance; and the nature of fiction.

In Chapter Four, Stock defends the possibility of testimony-in-fiction providing a reader with justified beliefs. Worries about the cognitive value of fiction often revolve around the platitude that fictions don't need to, and don't consistently, represent their contents truthfully; hence, even when some proposition in a text causes readers to form a true belief about, e.

One defense of such cognitive value is to see fiction under some conditions as a form of testimony. Stock shows how actual intentionalism is better perhaps exclusively positioned to exploit this solution than are other quasi-intentionalist views. It alone identifies the source of that testimony in a way that is not dictated by our interests e.

Stock then exploits that account of testimony in an explanation of the problem of imaginative resistance -- a comparative difficulty readers may have in imagining certain morally deviant fictional scenarios, e.

a state of affairs and imaginings Manual

One thought is that our resistance to imagining such a fictional state of affairs arises because of an inconsistency between what the fiction presents as the appropriate moral response to that scenario and how we would morally respond if it obtained in real life.

Yet, this explanation has a problem: an author's choice of genre by which the situation is represented can influence the emergence and degree of such resistance. The events of, say, a farce can be successfully represented without inviting any moral concern even if they would indeed raise moral objections if encountered in real life or supposing it to be possible if represented via other genres. Here, Stock shows how EI can both explain imaginative resistance and its susceptibility to genre. Following in the footsteps of Antonio Gramsci, Edward Said, and their many disciples, Dunn explores how Westerners since the nineteenth century have defined a large swath of central Africa as a mysterious "heart of darkness" occupied by irrational and childlike people for whom chaos and barbarism are the norm.

The violent fragmentation, predatory external interventions, and international neglect that afflict today's Democratic Republic of the Congo, he suggests, can be directly traced back to these past negative stereotypes "imaginings".

In This Review

Efforts by some Congolese leaders and intellectuals to project more positive counterimages of their country since its independence in have largely been thwarted by their difficulty in getting the world's attention "accessing discursive space". Although he slightly overstates his case, Dunn succeeds in subjecting these propositions to a searching, interesting, and well-argued analysis that challenges overly simple understandings of international relations.

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Click here to learn more. Subscribe to our summer-only newsletter to get great reads in your inbox once a week during July and August. The expression "Snow's being white", which refers to the condition snow's being white, is a nominalization of the sentence "Snow is white".

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Snow's being white is a necessary and sufficient condition for the truth of the proposition that snow is white. Conditions in this sense may be called situational. Usually, necessity and sufficiency relate conditions of the same kind. Being an animal is a necessary attributive condition for being a dog.

Fido's being an animal is a necessary situational condition for Fido's being a dog. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.