Emotional imagining and our responses to fiction

The aim of this article is to present the disagreement between Moran and Walton on the nature of our affective responses to fiction and to defend a view on the issue which is opposed to Moran’s account and improves on Walton’s. Moran takes imagination-based affective responses to be instances of genuine emotion and treats them as episodes with an emotional attitude towards their contents. I argue against the existence of such attitudes, and that the affective element of such responses should rather be taken to be part of what is imagined. In this respect, I follow Walton; and I also agree with the latter that our affective responses to fiction are, as a consequence, not instances of real emotion. However, this gives rise to the challenge to be more specific about the nature of our responses and explain how they can still involve a phenomenologically salient affective element, given that propositionally imagining that one feels a certain emotion is ruled out because it may be done in a dispassionate way. The answer —already suggested, but not properly spelled out by Walton— is that affectively responding to some fictional element consists in imaginatively re-presenting an experience of emotional feeling towards it. The central thought is that the conscious and imaginative representation of the affective character of an instance of genuine emotion itself involves the respective phenomenologically salient affective element, despite not instantiating it
Keywords imagination  fiction  emotional imagining  imagining from the inside  puzzle of fiction  Walton  Moran  affective imagining  experiential imagining
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Fabian Dorsch, Emotional imagining and our responses to fiction
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Susan Feagin (2010). Giving Emotions Their Due. British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (1):89-92.
Joseph T. Palencik (2008). Emotion and the Force of Fiction. Philosophy and Literature 32 (2):pp. 258-277.
Paul Ekamn & Daniel Cordaro (2011). What is Meant by Calling Emotions Basic. Emotion Review 3 (4): Emotion Review October 2364-370.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

97 ( #48,552 of 1,924,703 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #20,411 of 1,924,703 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.