Not by Imaginings Alone: On How Imaginary Worlds Are Established

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This article explores the relation between belief-like imaginings and the establishment of imaginary worlds (often called fictional worlds). After outlining the various assumptions my argument is premised on, I argue that belief-like imaginings, in themselves, do not render their content true in the imaginary world to which they pertain. I show that this claim applies not only to imaginative projects in which we are instructed or intend to imagine certain propositions, but also to spontaneous imaginative projects. After arguing that, like guided imaginative projects, spontaneous projects involve specific imaginary truths, I conclude that imaginative projects, whether spontaneous or deliberate, comprise not only imaginings, but also mental acts of determining such truths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the American Philosophical Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • belief-like imagining
  • fiction
  • imaginary truths
  • imaginary worlds
  • spontaneous imaginings

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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