Why do people respond emotionally to fiction when they know that it is only make-believe? This question which is fundamental to aesthetics and literary studies, is here tackled from a new perspective. The author first discusses the various answers that have been offered by philosophers form 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 contrast, Dr Boruah argues that fictional emotions are rational, and that they are based on the same sorts of beliefs that we form about real situations and real people. He illustrates his discussion throughout by an extensive use of literary examples, ranging from Shakespeare to Tolstoy.
'this is a serious, sensible, and open-minded attempt to deal with the complexities of aesthetic experience'
Peter Kitson, University College of North Wales, Bangor, Notes and Queries 'This is a competent book about a rich and tantalizing topic ... welll written'
Robert C. Solomon, The University of Texas at Austin, Review of Metaphysics
Emotion and belief; rationality, belief and emotional responses to fiction; two reformist theories - Schaper and Walton; the radical theory - Roger Scruton; the conservative theory - a new proposal.
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: 1st December 1988
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.35 x 16.2
Weight (kg): 0.3