Emotion and the arts by Mette Hjort, Sue Laver

By Mette Hjort, Sue Laver

Even supposing there are many anthologies facing numerous themes regarding the sentiments, this is often the 1st to target the humanities. The editors have gathered new essays on emotion and its relation to the humanities via fifteen best aestheticians. The essays give some thought to such themes because the paradox of fiction, emotion within the natural and summary arts, the rationality and ethics of emotional responses to paintings, and the worth of emotion. participants comprise Robert Solomon, Rom Harre, Kendall Walton, and Jerrold Levinson

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21 Revisionary explanations propose that the experience of negative emotions is not intrinsically unpleasant; the affects—that is, the sensations and feelings — involved are not in themselves disagreeable, and can be unproblematically savored E M O T I O N IN R E S P O N S E TO ART 31 as such, in appropriate contexts. What is negative about negative emotions is only the evaluation of their objects that is central to such emotions. 22 Deflationary explanations come in at least three varieties. One hypothesizes artistic analogues of the life emotions, distinct from them in hedonic tone, conative connectedness, and behavioral implication, and proposes that only these are raised in us by engagement with emotional art, and not the life emotions themselves.

30 E M O T I O N IN R E S P O N S E TO ART • Revisionary explanations: neither negative emotions, nor the feelings they include, are intrinsically unpleasant or undesirable, and thus there is nothing odd about appreciating art that induces such emotions or feelings. • Deflationary explanations: despite appearances, neither negative emotions, nor the feelings they include, are really aroused in us by negatively emotional art. Compensatory explanations include Aristotle's doctrine of catharsis, understood as a purging or purification of excess or unruly emotions of pity and fear through engagement with tragic drama, which justifies the raising of such emotions in the course of that engagement.

Let's suppose that you conclude from your imaginative experience that, were your friend to be offered the job in real life, you would feel jealous. I do not think it is literally the case that you are jealous of him for receiving the offer, when you only imagine that he did. Looking ahead to the case of Charles and the Slime, we can ask whether, when I negotiate the twists and turns of the cavern in my imagination, I am literally afraid. I am claustrophobic, and claustrophobia is a kind of fear.

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