Fearing fictionally · Kendall L. Walton. In Alex Neill & Aaron Ridley (eds.), Arguing About Art: Contemporary Philosophical Debates. Routledge. pp. (). University of Michigan Professor Kendall Walton wrote his groundbreaking paper “Fearing Fictions” back in His paper truly merits all the. K. Walton on Fearing Fiction. In Stecker and Gracyk, Aesthetics Today (). This document is a summary of Kendall Walton, “Spelunking.

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How can we feel genuinely and involuntarily sad, and weep, as we do knowing as we do that no one has suffered or died?

Phenomenologically, this description is fearibg apt. Philadelphia, Temple University Press. Glenn Hartz makes a similar point, in stronger language: In this respect, they are like grown-up versions of children’s toys. The monsters just aren’t particularly horrifying, though they were intended to be” p.

Kendall L. Walton, Fearing fictionally – PhilPapers

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Granted that he has no such inclination, Charlie could not possibly believe that the slime poses a serious threat at all. It seems altogether inappropriate in such cases to maintain that our theatre-goers merely make-believe that they are in these emotional states”p. Another problem is that it is not at all clear what equivalents to the startle effect are available in the case of emotions such as, say, pity and regret.

However, these principles need not be explicit, deliberate, or even public: They suggest a mechanism—whether it be some loose concept of “weak” or “partial” belief, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous “willing suspension of dis belief,” Freud’s notion of “disavowal” as adapted by psychoanalytic film theorists such as Christian Metz, or fearimg else entirely—whereby existence feariny are generated in the course of our engagement with works of fiction. Phobias and the Cognitive Complexity of Human Emotions.

I try to keep an open mind, but find it wholly lacking in artistry. But if it is the moving picture of the slime which frightens me for myselfthen my fear is irrational, etc.


In response to this objection, Radford offers the following two considerations: Thus no technical redescription in terms of make-believe is needed”p. Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

The Paradox of Fiction

In Defence of Fictional Incompetence. On his view, we can actually be moved by works of fiction, but it is make-believe that we are moved to is fear. A number of conflicting solutions to this paradox have been proposed by philosophers of art.

But there are examples [of fictional works] which are pretty inept, and which do not seem to be recuperable by making believe that we are horrified. This summer, I took a phenomenal Philosophy and Literature course at Stanford. Objections to the Pretend Theory Despite its novelty, as well as Walton’s heroic attempts at defending it, the Pretend Theory continues to come under attack from numerous quarters. What makes emotional response to fiction different from emotional fewring to real world characters and events is that, rather than having to believe in the actual existence of the entity or event in question, all we need do is “mentally represent” Peter Lamarque”entertain in thought” Noel Carrollor “imaginatively propose” Murray Smith it to ourselves.

No fictionns specified fix it. Here the existence or non-existence of the object can hardly be important.

An International Quarterly 71 4: Many of these attacks can be organized under the following two general headings:. While some argue that our apparent emotional responses to fiction are only “make-believe” or pretend, others claim kendll existence beliefs aren’t necessary for having emotional responses at least to fiction in the first place.

Dan Cavedon-Taylor – – Ratio 23 2: Classical, Early, and Medieval World History: If you asked Charlie what he is feeling, he would unequivocally affirm that he feels fear. Eva Schaper, for example, in an article published three years before Lamarque’s, writes that: Sieber – forthcoming – IRB: I could elect to remain unmoved by The Exorcist ; I could refuse to make believe I was horrified.

Epicurus and the Politics of Fearing Death. Really Believing in Fiction. Somewhat surprisingly, the Thought Theory has generated relatively little critical discussion, a fact in virtue of which it can be said to occupy a privileged position today. He admits wlton these characters move us in awlton ways, both physically and psychologically—the similarities to real fear, sadness, etc. Classical, Early, and Medieval Prose and Writers: And still others hold that there is nothing especially problematic about our emotional responses to works of fiction, since what these works manage to do when successful is create in us the “illusion” that the characters and situations depicted therein actually exist.


In Section 1we came across one of the most powerful objections to have been levied against the Illusion Theory to date: Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: He is perfectly aware that his father is only ‘playing,’ that the whole thing is ‘just a game,’ and that only make-believedly is there a vicious monster after him.

Even when the existence beliefs posited by the Illusion theorist are of the weak or partial variety, Walton argues that Charles has no doubts about the whether he is in the presence of an actual slime. I would say that our response to the appearance of the monster is a brute one that is at odds with and overrides our knowledge of what he is, and which in combination with our distancing kkendall that this is only a horror film, leads us to laugh—at the film, and at ourselves for being frightened” p.

Charles has no kenddall about the whether he is in the presence of an actual slime. Classical, Early, and Medieval Plays and Playwrights: The Paradox of Fiction How is it that we can be moved by what we know does not exist, namely the situations of people in fictional stories?

When we watch a fictional movie or read a fictional novel, we are mentally simulating doing something else. We need a distinction.