Förmåga till fantasi
In an important pair of papers, Gendler introduces a novel term to describe the mental state that underlies these reactions: She calls it ”alief.” Beliefs are attitudes that we hold in response to how things are. Aliefs are more primitive. They are responses to how things seem. In the above example, people have beliefs that tell them they are safe, but they have aliefs that tell them they are in danger. Or consider the findings of Paul Rozin, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, that people often refuse to drink soup from a brand-new bedpan, eat fudge shaped like feces, or put an empty gun to their head and pull the trigger. Gendler notes that the belief here is: The bedpan is clean, the fudge is fudge, the gun is empty. But the alief is stupid, screaming, ”Filthy object! Dangerous object! Stay away!” The point of alief is to capture the fact that our minds are partially indifferent to the contrast between events that we believe to be real versus those that seem to be real, or that are imagined to be real. This extends naturally to the pleasures of the imagination.
Är detta något att sträva efter att ta bort? Om vi vet att något inte är gripande eller rörande eller farligt, vore det då inte bra att slippa känslor som säger motsatsen? Eller behöver vi denna tillflykt till fantasins verklighet? I så fall, varför då? (Slutligen: hur ska ”alief” översättas till svenska?)