The ethics of imagination and fantasy

Authored by: Aaron Smuts

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415739481
eBook ISBN: 9781315657905
Adobe ISBN: 9781317329459


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The “ethics of imagination” or the “ethics of fantasy” encompasses the various ways in which we can morally evaluate the imagination. For instance, many people think that it is wrong to fantasize about torturing and raping children. Others have found far less disturbing fantasies problematic. Augustine, for instance, felt guilty for merely having sexual dreams (Confessions And many critics have complained about artworks that ask audiences to pleasurably imagine violent and prurient narratives.

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