What's Hecuba to Him? Fictional Events and Actual Emotions

ISBN-10: 0271016515
ISBN-13: 9780271016511
Edition: 1997
Authors: E. M. Dadlez
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Description: Fiction transports us. We inhabit new worlds in our imagination, adopt perspectives not our own, and even respond emotionally to persons and events that we know are not real.The very nature of our emotional engagement with fiction, says E. M.  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
Publication date: 9/4/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 252
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Fiction transports us. We inhabit new worlds in our imagination, adopt perspectives not our own, and even respond emotionally to persons and events that we know are not real.The very nature of our emotional engagement with fiction, says E. M. Dadlez, attests to the possibility of its moral significance, just as the nature of our imaginative engagement makes us collaborators in the creation of the worlds we imagine.This book engages contemporary debate over the seeming irrationality or inauthenticity of our emotional response to fiction, examining the many positions taken in this debate and arguing that we can understand the relation between cognition and emotion without devaluing our emotional responses to fiction. It takes Hamlet's famous query as the first step in an analytic philosophical inquiry and, by considering some of the answers that derive from that question, arrives at a set of necessary conditions for an emotional response to fiction.What Hamlet's player feels for Hecuba, proposes Dadlez, is no more illusory than what we feel for Hamlet; that the actor weeps for Hecuba reflects both our capacity to envision and understand a seemingly limitless variety of human situations--to empathize with others--and the capacity of fiction to facilitate such understanding. What's Hecuba to Him? is an enticingly written work that opens an entire philosophical arena to literary scholars and illuminates the significance that literature has for our moral life.

#60;b#62;Eva M. Dadlez#60;/b#62; is Professor of Humanities and Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts, University of Central Oklahoma. She received her B.A. from Syracuse University in 1978, her M.L.S. from Syracuse University in 1982, an M.A. from Syracuse University in 1986, and her Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1991. She has published a number of papers on the philosophy of fiction, and #60;i#62;What#8242;s Hecuba to Him?: Fictional Events and Actual Emotions#60;/i#62; (Penn State University Press, 1997).

Introduction
Fiction, Emotion, and Irrationality
Emotions
Irrationality in Emotion
Fictional Events and Irrational Emotions
Conclusion
Nearing Fictions: Feeling as Believing
The Emotional and the Quasi Emotional
Making-Believe
Addressing Fictions and Expressing Desires
Playing Inconsistent Games
Conclusion
Objects of Emotion and Emotional Imagination
Responding to Actual People and Events
Thoughts and Thought Contents as Intentional Objects
Possibility and Potentiality as Objects of Emotion
Emotion, Imagination, and Attention
Imagining Emotionally
Conclusion
Fiction, Emotion, and Morality
Emotion and Normative Judgment
Love's Best Guess: The Merely Fictional
Moral Conflict and the Limits of the Imagination
A Digression on Humor
Imagining Possibilities and the Possibility of Imagining
Conclusion
Imagining Fictional Worlds
Fictional Worlds
Imagining Fictions
Imagination as Interpretation
Imaginative Engagement
Imagining the Real
Conclusion
Feeling with Fiction: Empathy and Imagination
Emotion and Empathy
Empathetic Emotion and Second-Order Belief
Empathetic Imagination
Feeling with the Fictional
Empathy and Necessity
The Empathetic and the Normative
Conclusion
The Satisfyingly Sad and the Sadly Satisfying
Enjoying Excitement and Emotional Release
Achieving Equilibrium: Rehearsal and Meta-Response
Clarification, Comprehension, and Construal
Form and Content
Appreciating Aesthetically
Conclusion
Afterword
Bibliography
Index

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