Apt Imaginings: Feelings for Fictions and Other Creatures of the Mind

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2022.06.06 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Jonathan Gilmore, Apt Imaginings: Feelings for Fictions and Other Creatures of the Mind, Oxford University Press, 2020, 258pp., $78.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190096342.

Reviewed by Moonyoung Song, National University of Singapore

Jonathan Gilmore’s book makes important contributions to a range of debates related to imaginings, especially imaginings in the context of engaging with fiction and artwork. The main question this book pursues is whether the norms that govern the aptness of our engagements with fiction are continuous or discontinuous with those governing the aptness of our engagements with the real world. Gilmore argues for discontinuity, in the case of both affective norms about emotional responses toward real versus fictional objects and epistemic norms about believing what is true in the real world versus imagining what is true in a fiction. This book also discusses other topics in the neighborhood, including whether it is rational to have inconsistent desires regarding tragedy (e.g., desiring that Desdemona…

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