Chapter

Puzzles and Paradoxes

Jenefer Robinson

in Deeper than Reason

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780199263653
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603211 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199263655.003.0005
Puzzles and Paradoxes

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The argument of Chapter 4 is defended against a number of objections: that not all novels require emotional involvement (true), that we do not in fact react to novels in a bodily way (false), that I ignore authorial manipulation (I don't ), that some emotional responses are inappropriate (they are), and that according to the so-called ‘paradox of fiction’, it is irrational to respond emotionally to fictional characters when we are perfectly aware that they are fictional. The answer to the paradox of fiction is that we process novels both cognitively and affectively. Our instinctive affective appraisal system is indifferent to whether or not stimulus for emotion exists or not. Persons can get emotionally worked up by imagined and remembered events and people as well as by actual people right in front of them.

Keywords: novel; emotional involvement; autorial manipulation; literature; fictional characters; paradox of fiction; cognition; affective appraisal system; imagination

Chapter.  7187 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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