Imagination Unblocked

Aaron Meskin, Jonathan M. Weinberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Some things are very hard to imagine, and not necessarily because they are complicated or hard to understand. This phenomenon of "imaginative resistance" has been examined by many philosophers in recent years, and we presented an account of its cognitive architecture in an earlier work. This paper explores an interesting aspect of this psychological phenomenon that has thus far garnered little attention: some authors, in the right circumstances, can deploy techniques that render what would typically be unimaginable into the imagined stuff of fiction. In this paper we extend our earlier account of the cognitive architecture of imaginative resistance to accommodate, and offer an empirically-motivated explanation for, the various ways in which authors may circumvent or overcome blocks to the imagination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Aesthetic Mind
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophy and Psychology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191731815
ISBN (Print)9780199691517
StatePublished - Jan 19 2012


  • Cognitive architecture
  • Fiction
  • Imaginative resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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