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Very interesting.

Might another way of putting the contrast be to say that believing is a kind of imagining? This makes some good sense if we think of imagining as a perhaps more generic way of representing things to ourselves, whereas belief requires that in addition to representing we also have some kind of commitment to the truth, accuracy, veridicality or what have you of the representation. Just a thought. Currie and Ravenscroft argue something like this in Recreative Minds -- though their aim is not to argue anything in particular about the relation of fiction to fact.

Thanks Mory! I always appreciate knowing something I wrote was stimulating to someone else. :)

Sarah: hey, didn't know you'd joined the Game - a thousand welcomes!

You mention "Recreative Minds" - I put this on my reading list, then removed it because it was $50. I'm sorry, but $50 is too much for a 250 page book. It's not helpful to use gold ink these days. :)

"Believing is a kind of imagining"... I'm going to have to think about this, but yes, there may be something to this construal. But for me personally I can believe in something without believing in the accuracy or veridical nature of the proposition e.g. I believe in the fundamental goodness of human beings, but I do not believe that the proposition "all human beings are fundamentally good" is true. (One might retool this claim in terms of faith, especially on a Kierkegaard-style account).

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I'm increasingly allergic to passives and to transitive verbs used without an object :-).

A story cannot simply "be authorised". Somebody must authorise it, and it is only authorised where that person has control. Who authorises these stories for whom?

Peter: I always appreciate your grammatical challenges. :)

"Authority" in these cases is cultural, not personal. It is not a person that provides authority, but a culture. Ordinary English language use does not provide an elegant way of making this explicit, hence it remains implicit in my text.

The same is true of the authority that endorses money as having value: the chairman of the Bank of England (say) isn't the person who grants this authority - coins and notes have this authority because it is a cultural institution that is well-established.

Thanks for sharing your perspective!

OK, so do I understand correctly that an "authorised story" is a story that a group of people comprising a culture *or subculture* agree to believe as true?

Example: "The moon landings were faked in Hollywood" is an authorised story within the subculture of people who believe that the moon landings were faked.

Peter: yes, this is not a bad way of putting it, although "agree to believe" suggests that authority is negotiated, rather than (say) dynamically emergent. But yes, the moon landing example is an authorised story among a certain subculture, but it is not an authorised story outside of that.

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