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Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life$
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Molly Andrews

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812394.001.0001

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Knowledge, Belief, and Disbelief

Knowledge, Belief, and Disbelief

(p.14) Chapter 2 Knowledge, Belief, and Disbelief
Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life

Molly Andrews

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 locates the inquiry within a research context, specifically the ‘narrative imagination’ that is required from researchers as we embark on journeys exploring the different worldviews of others. Using the metaphor of the performance of magic, the chapter reflects on those moments when we knowingly suspend disbelief, and let ourselves travel to implausible, impossible places. As researchers, how do we balance the tension between our willingness to believe others—no matter how distant their experiences might be from our own—and critical detachment, even scepticism? Are there limits to how far we should be willing to travel into the worlds of others? This chapter concludes with a discussion of the role of imagination in scholarship.

Keywords:   magic and social beliefs, popular imagination, suspended disbelief, scepticism and scholarship, psychology of magic, knowing deception, performance, culture and human perception, inspiration

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