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The Architecture of the ImaginationNew Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction$
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Shaun Nichols

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275731

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275731.001.0001

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Imaginative Blocks and Impossibility: An Essay in Modal Psychology

Imaginative Blocks and Impossibility: An Essay in Modal Psychology

(p.237) 12 Imaginative Blocks and Impossibility: An Essay in Modal Psychology
The Architecture of the Imagination

Shaun Nichols

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an account of the psychological underpinnings of moral judgment, based on considerations on moral judgment in children and on recent cognitivist approaches to the imagination. It argues that children's modal judgements often emerge from imaginative activities, suggesting that there is a causal connection between, for example, imaginative failures (of certain sorts) and judgements of impossibility. This causal pathway is also plausibly implicated in judgments of absolute impossibility. These more fundamental judgments derive from ‘imaginative blocks’, natural restrictions on the imagination. Those imaginative restrictions themselves can be explained by recent cognitivist approaches to the imagination, according to which imagination-representations will be processed by inferential mechanisms in the same way as isomorphic beliefs.

Keywords:   children, moral judgement, cognitivist approach, imagination, modality, possibility, single code

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