Fact, fiction and feeling

British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (4):356-366 (1996)
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Abstract

I consider and reject two kinds of solution of the problem of feelings about fictional objects: that the relevant beliefs are not really different as between fiction and fact; and that the relevant feelings are not 'really the same'. The problem should be seen in the context of different phases in acquiring the relevant feeling-concepts and I distinguish three such phases. The first is necessarily 'presentational': the child is presented with suitable objects or pictures and responds with appropriate feelings, without distinguishing fact from fiction. This presentational phase remains part of the concept and our responses to fictional objects should be understood accordingly

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