Real objects in fictional situations: an argument for i-desires as indispensable states

Yuchen GUO About the author


In order to account for our engagements with fiction, several philosophers have recently introduced a class of novel mental states which they have designated as ‘i-desires’ or ‘desire-like imaginings’. Others argue against this claim by denying the existence of i-desire. In this article, I argue that genuine desires fail to make sense of our attitudes towards real objects in fictional situations, and that i-desire is psychologically indispensable in explaining our attitudes in such cases.

I-desire; Desire-like imagining; Imagination; Fiction; Pretense

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