David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (3):340-355 (2000)
IT IS DIFFICULT for me to read Pride and Prejudice without empathizing either with Elizabeth Bennet, or sometimes with her father, Mr Bennet. Not only do my own responses to and opinions of the events and characters of the book at times resemble theirs, but even when they do not, I find myself seeing the event from Elizabeth’s or Mr Bennet’s point of view. For example, at the close of the book, Elizabeth’s former dislike of Mr Darcy has completely vanished, in part because of learning of a number of good deeds that Mr Darcy has done very quietly for their family. When Mr Darcy proposes to Elizabeth (for the second time) she is delighted to accept him. However, everyone else in Elizabeth’s family despises Mr Darcy, and they also believe that Elizabeth still hates him. So it is easy to understand Mr Bennet’s surprise and distaste when Mr Darcy asks Mr Bennet for Elizabeth’s hand; after all, Mr Bennet still believes Mr Darcy to be prideful and haughty. While I am not myself surprised to hear Elizabeth’s response—the reader learns much more of Mr Darcy’s character than Mr Bennet does—I do have the experience of imagining being surprised. I am also capable of empathizing with Elizabeth, who is excited, flustered, and a bit ashamed at having so misjudged Mr Darcy early on, and I can imagine having these feelings for people I have misjudged. I can (to some degree) understand why she finds explaining all this to Mr Bennet so difficult. I go back and forth, as I read, between the perspectives of Mr Bennet and Elizabeth. These experiences of mine are experiences of the sort that I call ‘empathizing with fictions’, although we sometimes might describe such experiences by saying that we ‘identified’ with a particular character or characters in a story.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Amy Coplan (2004). Empathic Engagement with Narrative Fictions. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):141–152.
Similar books and articles
K. Darcy Otto (2003). Solving the Second Horn of the Dilemma of Participation. Apeiron 36 (1):25 - 41.
Darcy Paul (2000). Policy: Kaiser Commission Report on Personal Perspectives. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28 (3):315-317.
John Bennet (1999). P. Y. Forsyth: Thera in the Bronze Age . Pp. Xv + 189, 11 Pls, 30 Figs. New York, Etc.: Peter Lang, 1997. Cased, £27. ISBN: 0-8204-3788-. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 49 (02):614-.
Eileen Bennet (1987). Department Internships in Philosophy. Teaching Philosophy 10 (2):111-121.
F. Simonstein (2005). A Rational Cure for Prereproductive Stress Syndrome--A Perspective From Israel: A Rejoinder to Hayry, Bennet, Holm, and Aksoy. Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (9):557-557.
E. A. Bennet (1949). Clinical Psychology. By Charles Berg, M.D., D.P.M. (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd. 1948. Pp. 503. Price 25s.). Philosophy 24 (90):276-.
Christian Bennet & Martin Filin Karlsson (2008). Williamson's Barber. Analysis 68 (300):320-326.
Christian Bennet (1997). Editor's Preface. Theoria 63 (3):137-138.
James R. Hofmann & Paul A. Hofmann (1992). Darcy's Law and Structural Explanation in Hydrology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:23 - 35.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #94,242 of 1,102,738 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #84,424 of 1,102,738 )
How can I increase my downloads?