Art and negative affect

Philosophy Compass 4 (1):39-55 (2009)
Abstract
Why do people seemingly want to be scared by movies and feel pity for fictional characters when they avoid situations in real life that arouse these same negative emotions? Although the domain of relevant artworks encompasses far more than just tragedy, the general problem is typically called the paradox of tragedy. The paradox boils down to a simple question: If people avoid pain then why do people want to experience art that is painful? I discuss six popular solutions to the paradox: conversion, control, compensatory, meta-response, catharsis, and rich experience theories.
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References found in this work BETA
Marcia M. Eaton (1982). A Strange Kind of Sadness. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 41 (1):51-63.
Marcia Muelder Eaton (1973). Aesthetic Pleasure and Pain. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (4):481-485.
Susan L. Feagin (1983). The Pleasures of Tragedy. American Philosophical Quarterly 20 (1):95 - 104.

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Citations of this work BETA
Aaron Smuts (2011). The Feels Good Theory of Pleasure. Philosophical Studies 155 (2):241-265.
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