Tamar Szabó Gendler's research while affiliated with Yale University and other places

Publications (24)

Article
Exercising self-control is often difficult, whether declining a drink in order to drive home safely, passing on the chocolate cake to stay on a diet, or ignoring text messages to finish reading an important paper. But enacting self-control is not always difficult, particularly when it takes the form of proactively choosing or changing situations in...
Article
Full-text available
Conflicts between immediately rewarding activities and more enduringly valued goals abound in the lives of school-age children. Such conflicts call upon children to exercise self-control, a competence that depends in part on the mastery of metacognitive, prospective strategies. The process model of self-control organizes these strategies into five...
Article
On one standard reading, Plato's works contain at least two distinct views about the structure of the human soul. According to the first, there is a crucial unity to human psychology: there is a dominant faculty that is capable of controlling attention and behaviour in a way that not only produces right action, but also ‘silences’ inclinations to t...
Article
Issues of pretense and imagination are of central interest to philosophers, psychologists, and researchers in allied fields. In this entry, we provide a roadmap of some of the central themes around which discussion has been focused. We begin with an overview of pretense, imagination, and the relationship between them. We then shift our attention to...
Article
This volume consists of fourteen chapters that focus on a trio of interrelated themes. First: what are the powers and limits of appeals to intuition in supporting or refuting various sorts of claims? Second: what are the cognitive consequences of engaging with content that is represented as imaginary or otherwise unreal? Third: what are the implica...
Article
I introduce and argue for the importance of a cognitive state that I call alief. An alief is, to a reasonable approximation, an innate or habitual propensity to respond to an apparent stimulus in a particular way. Recognizing the role that alief plays in our cognitive repertoire provides a framework for understanding reactions that are governed by...
Article
I propose that paradigmatic cases of self-deception satisfy the following conditions: (a) the person who is self-deceived about not-P pretends (in the sense of makes-believe or imagines or fantasizes) that not-P is the case, often while believing that P is the case and not believing that not-P is the case; (b) the pretense that not-P largely plays...
Article
The puzzle of imaginative resistance is the puzzle of explaining our comparative difficulty in imagining fictional worlds that we take to be morally deviant. The author of this chapter, Szabó Gendler, refines her earlier (2000) account of the phenomenon. The chapter argues that cases that evoke resistance are those where seriously engaging with the...
Article
The aim of this article is to expand the diet of examples considered in philosophical discussions of imagination and pretense, and to offer some preliminary observations about what we might learn about the nature of imagination as a result. The article presents a number of cases involving imaginative contagion: cases where merely imagining or prete...
Chapter
Thought experiment: to perform a thought experiment is to reason about an imaginary scenario with the aim of confirming or disconfirming some hypothesis or theory.
Article
Perhaps the concept of knowledge, prior to its being fashioned and molded by certain philosophical traditions, never offered any stable negative verdict in the original fake barn case.
Article
Contemplating imaginary scenarios that evoke certain sorts of quasi-sensory intuitions may bring us to new beliefs about contingent features of the natural world. These beliefs may be produced quasi-observation ally; the presence of a mental image may play a crucial cognitive role in the formation of the belief in question. And this albeit fallible...
Article
Through careful analysis of a specific example, Parfit’s ‘fission argument’ for the unimportance of personal identity, I argue that our judgements concerning imaginary scenarios are likely to be unreliable when the scenarios involve disruptions of certain contingent correlations. Parfit’s argument depends on our hypothesizing away a number of facts...
Article
By carefully examining one of the most famous thought experiments in the history of science-that by which Galileo is said to have refuted the Aristotelian theory that heavier bodies fall faster than Lighter ones-I attempt to show that thought experiments play a distinctive role in scientific inquiry. Reasoning about particular entities within the c...
Article
Millikan contrasts her substance-based view of concepts with “descriptionism” according to which description determines what falls under a concept. Focusing on her discussion of the role of language in the acquisition of concepts, I argue that descriptions cannot be separated from perception in the ways Millikan's view requires.
Article
There are currently a dizzying variety of theories on the market holding that whether an utterance of the form A knows that p is true depends on pragmatic or contextual factors. Even if we allow that pragmatics matters, there are three questions to be answered. First, whose interests matter? Here there are three options: the interests of A matter,...
Article
This paper is about three of the most prominent debates in modern epistemology. The conclusion is that three prima facie appealing positions in these debates cannot be held simultaneously. The first debate is scepticism vs anti-scepticism. My conclusions apply to most kinds of debates between sceptics and their opponents, but I will focus on the in...

Citations

... This is one example of a larger puzzle of imaginative resistance. Imaginative resistance is usually studied as a puzzle for fiction and literature (see Gendler and Liao 2016). It is a phenomenon that arises when a reader of fiction is asked to imagine a proposition but fails to do so. ...
... People can and do use a wide variety of self-control strategies (e.g., strategies that focus on modifying the situation versus strategies that modulate attentional deployment; Duckworth et al., 2016;Hennecke et al., 2019). These strategies arguably differ in how (in-)flexible they render goal adjustment, and this might explain the inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between self-control and goal adjustment. ...
... See also White (1990), Kind (2001Kind ( , 2013, Currie and Ravenscroft (2002), and Van Leeuwen (2013, 2014). 17 On imaginative resistance, see Gendler (2000Gendler ( , 2006. the imaginative project P. Balcerak Jackson implements these ideas into her account and maintains that imagining, in her sense, is primarily an exercise in phenomenal or experiential perspective-taking, whereas conceiving, akin to "modal imagining", primarily involves an exercise in ideal rational perspective-taking. She further adds that the rational perspective-taking that characterises conceiving is ideal because it involves an attempt to "adopt the perspective of a subject whose use of [her rational capacities] is infallible and unimpaired by limitations of memory, attention, and so on […]". ...
... Imagination is said to be mostly voluntary and under our control. Aside from logical impossibilities and morally deviant worlds (Gendler, 2000(Gendler, , 2010, we seem able to imagine anything we want. Imagining is seen as unconstrained by the environment. ...
... I would also include in this category of "meaning"-less meaning, or non-conceptual content, what Daniel Dennett refers to as "sub-personal" meaning; see McDowell (1994). For a collection of recent debates concerning arguments for and against the possibility of "non-conceptual content," see Gendler and Hawthorne (2006). 61 Johnston (1999), 30 and 38, respectively. ...
... It follows from a substantive but largely uncontroversial view about evidence, namely, that it is a crucial property of evidence that if it is epistemically rational to heed x in the absence of defeaters, then x provides evidence. 12 12 See Ayer (1972), Kelly (2003Kelly ( , 2007, Neta (2003Neta ( , 2008, Weatherson (2005), and Pryor (forthcoming) for discussions of this property of evidence. An interesting question is what the connection is between the strength of the evidence we have for a proposition and our confidence in that proposition. ...
... Therefore, how to boost the students' academic achievement is worthy of attention. A large and still growing body of research supports the importance of self-control as a mechanism that influences academic achievement (Duckworth et al., 2014). However, the evidence from developmental neuroscience suggests that adolescents' brains are too immature to implement self-control well (Steinbeis et al., 2012). ...
... By means of implementation intentions, one is able to act in a way that is more consistent with reflective commitments. This strategy has been seen as a boost for people's ability to exercise control over their behavior (Gendler, 2014;Holroyd, 2012;Stewart & Payne, 2008). ...
... In Gendler's (2008) terminology, these organisms had "aliefs," not beliefs. Allowing for a division of labor between beliefs and desires introduces complications that we won't discuss; seeStephens (2001) andSterelny (2003). ...
... 4 In the context of thought experiments, for example, it has been argued that 'the ability to visualise is necessary to most if not all thought experiments' (Gooding 1992), and that thought experiments 'are carried out in the mind and they involve something akin to experience, that is, we typically "see" something happening in a thought experiment' (Brown, 2004, p. 25). Drawing on the example of Stevin's chain, Gendler argues that 'the presence of a mental image may play a crucial cognitive role ' Gendler (2004' Gendler ( , p. 1154 In the context of models, Levy states that modelling involves a "seeing in the mind's eye" (Levy, 2015, p. 785) and Weisberg takes the fiction view of models to be arguing for the role of "mental pictures" (2013, chapter 4). While some take imagery as a necessary component of imagination (Kind, 2001), it is widely accepted in cognitive science, psychology, and the philosophy of art and mind that the imagination can take various forms. ...