Fiction and emotion: a study in aesthetics and the philosophy of mind
Why do people respond emotionally to works of fiction they know are make-believe? Boruah tackles this question, which is fundamental aesthetics and literary studies, from a totally new perspective. Bringing together the various answers that have been offered by philosophers from Aristotle to Roger Scruton, he shows that while some philosophers have denied any rational basis to our emotional responses to fiction, others have argued that the emotions evoked by fiction are not real emotions at all. In response to this, Boruah contends that fictional emotions are rational because they are based on the same sorts of beliefs that we form about real situations and real people. He illustrates this argument with literary examples ranging from Shakespeare to Tolstoy.
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EMOTION AND BELIEF
RATIONALITY BELIEF AND EMOTIONAL
TWO REFORMIST THEORIES
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A-beliefs action actually aesthetic emotions aesthetic experience affective analogous Anna Karenina appreciation appropriate belief argue asserted attitude causally efficacious Chapter character or event cognitive complex concept condition constitution dangerous depicted described Desdemona Desdemona's fate desire E-rational emotional experience emotional response empathy enraged lion entertain envisagement essentially contrasted evaluative belief example existence existential belief explained fact feel sad fictional characters fictional emotions fictional fear fictional object fictional world first-order beliefs formal object frightened genuine emotional Hence intentional object intentionality involved irrationality kind Lamarque make-belief make-believedly mental merely mind necessary occur one's Othello paradigm paradox particular person possible proposition propositional attitude psychological question Radford Radical theory rational real-life emotions reference relevant response to fiction Robinson's Roger Scruton role S-rational Schaper Scruton second-order beliefs sense sentence someone structure suitable belief theory of imagination thesis thinking thought-process true truth unasserted thought underlying waif Walton Xorp