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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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Imagination and Misimagination

Imagination and Misimagination

(p.57) 4 Imagination and Misimagination
The Architecture of the Imagination

Adam Morton

Oxford University Press

This chapter tries to say what it is to misimagine another person's mind. The idea that misimagination of mind is possible, that there is a difference between correct or accurate imagination of another and faulty imagination, is not obviously right. A defence of the possibility of misimagination is constructed in terms of one person's grasp of the perspectives in terms of which another operates. The chapter also discusses ways in which we systematically misimagine other people, and relates this to the depiction of character in literature. It is possible that many vivid literary personalities could not exist in real life, since we can easily imagine people having characteristics that humans in fact do not have. Imagining people's minds is closely related to intuitive understanding of others' actions, since in both cases one has to grasp the perspectives that organize a person's actions. An analysis is given of what these perspectives consist; reproducing them accurately is an important aspect of accurate imagination. One consequence is that imagining someone's imagining is more likely to be accurate than simple imagining.

Keywords:   perspective, psychological explanation, fiction, character, attribution

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