A Puzzle about Imagining Believing

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Suppose you’re imagining that it’s raining hard. You then proceed to imagine, as part of the same imaginative project, that you believe that it isn’t raining. Such an imaginative project is possible if the two imaginings arise in succession. But what about simultaneously imagining that it’s raining and that you believe that it isn’t raining? I will argue that, under certain conditions, such an imagining is impossible. After discussing these conditions, I will suggest an explanation of this impossibility. Elaborating on the view outlined in Walton (1990), I will argue that the impossibility follows from the fact that imaginings ‘mimic’ beliefs in aiming at the fictionally true, just as beliefs aim at the true.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-547
Number of pages19
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


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