The genuine attitude view of fictional belief

Wesley Buckwalter, Katherine Tullmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The distinct-attitude view of fictional narratives is a standard position in contemporary aesthetics. This is the view that cognitive attitudes formed in response to fictions are a distinct kind of mental state from beliefs formed in response to non-fictional scenarios, such as pretend or imaginary states. This chapter argues that the balance of functional, behavioral, and neuroscientific evidence best supports the genuine-attitude view of belief. According to the genuine-attitude view, cognitive responses to fictions are genuine beliefs that are not a distinct kind of mental state from the beliefs that we form in response to non-fictional scenarios. The chapter considers the implications of the genuine-attitude view for debates at the intersection of epistemology, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArt and Belief
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780198805403
StatePublished - Nov 23 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Belief
  • Fiction
  • Functional role
  • Imagination
  • Motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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