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The Rational imagination: how people create alternatives to reality

Author: Byrne, Ruth M. J. Publisher: MIT Press, 2007.Language: EnglishDescription: 254 p. : Ill. ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780262524742Type of document: BookBibliography/Index: Includes bibliographical references and index
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Book Europe Campus
Main Collection
Print BF442 .B97 2007
(Browse shelf)
Available 001230576
Total holds: 0

Includes bibliographical references and index


The Rational Imagination How People Create Alternatives to Reality Contents Preface xi 1 The Counterfactual Imagination 1 Imagination 2 Counterfactual Imagination What People Imagine 5 Imaginative Thoughts and Emotions 8 What People Do Not Imagine 9 3 Summary 14 2 Imagination and Rational Thought 15 Rational Thought 16 The Interpretation of "If" 19 Conditionals and Possibilities 2 0 Conditional Inferences 22 Inferences and Possibilities 25 28 Rationality and Conditional Inferences Rational Thought and Imaginative Thought 30 Counterfactual Conditionals Dual-Possibility Ideas 34 36 38 30 The Mutability of Dual-Possibility Concepts The Rationality of the Counterfactual Imagination Summary 40 3 Imagining How Actions Might Have Been Different 43 "If Only ..." Alternatives to Actions 43 Clues from Reasoning: Counterfactual Conditionals 48 Counterfactual Conditionals and Dual Possibilities 48 The Rational Imagination: Why People Imagine Alternatives to Actions 52 Actions and Dual Possibilities 53 Failures to Act 54 Dual Possibilities for Inactions 57 The Inaction Effect 62 Summary 66 4 Thinking about What Should Have Happened 69 People Say "If Only ..." about What Should Not Have Happened 69 Controllable Events and Acceptable Events 70 Clues from Reasoning: Inferences about Obligations 74 Forbidden Possibilities 74 81 Forbidden Possibilities and Inferences 76 Biconditional Obligations: Two Forbidden Possibilities Counterfactual Obligations 83 The Rational Imagination: Why People Focus on Forbidden Fruit 87 Imagined Alternatives to Forbidden Possibilities Imagined Alternatives and Obligations 88 87 Obligations and Domain-Specific Possibilities 92 Permission Schemas and Social-Contract Modules 92 Forbidden Possibilities, Permissions, and Social Contracts 95 Summary 97 5 Causal Relations and Counterfactuals 99 The Focus of Counterfactual and Causal Thoughts 100 The Causal Chicken and the Counterfactual Egg 102 Clues from Reasoning: Strong Causal and Enabling Relations 106 Counterfactual Thoughts and Enabling Relations 107 The Possibilities for Enabling Relations 108 111 Different Interpretations Lead to Different Inferences Enabling Relations and Prevention 117 How Do People Distinguish Causal and Enabling Relations? 114 The Rational Imagination: Why Counterfactual and Causal Thoughts Differ 118 People Generate More Causal Than Counterfactual Thoughts 119 What Makes People Think about a Cause or Imagine an Alternative? 123 Summary 126 6 "Even If ..." 129 130 People Imagine Semifactual Alternatives Semifactual Conditionals and Possibilities 130 135 Semifactual Alternatives Deny a Causal Link 132 Semifactual Alternatives and, Weak Causal Relations Clues from Reasoning: "Even If ..." Conditionals and Inferences Semifactual Conditionals and Inferences 138 Conditionals as Primes 143 137 The Rational Imagination: Imagined Semifactuals and Causality Semifactual Alternatives and Causality 145 145 The Hidden Possibility 149 Counterfactuals Are Not Biconditionals 150 "Even If ..." Conditionals and the Third Possibility 152 Summary 155 7 The "Last Chance" 157 People Focus on Recent Events 157 Clues from Reasoning: The Case of "Only If" Conditionals 158 " Only If" Conditionals and Inferences 159 Possibilities Preserve Temporal Order 162 The Rational Imagination: Why People Change Recent Events 167 A Program to Simulate Temporal Anchoring 169 Anchored Possibilities and Dual Possibilities 171 The Space of Counterfactual Possibilities 175 Summary 179 8 Individuals and Creative Thoughts 181 Individual Differences in Imaginative Thoughts Facts and Other Possibilities 183 Multiple Possibilities 185 Heuristics and Strategies 189 182 Creative Thoughts 190 Inventing New Instances of a Category 190 Concept Combination 192 Insight 194 Summary 196 9 The Idea of a Rational Imagination 197 Reality and Other Possibilities Possibilities and Principles 200 The Counterfactual Imagination 202 198 The Rationality of the Counterfactual Imagination Creating Different Counterfactuals 212 208 Summary 214 References 217 Index 243

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