Fiction, emotion and ’belief’: A reply to Eva Schaper

British Journal of Aesthetics 19 (2):120-130 (1979)

Authors
Brian Rosebury
University of Central Lancashire
Abstract
The paper argues that our emotions in response to fictional representations are best explained, not as requiring a suspension of diselief, but as resembling the emotions we feel when we propound a hypothetical case to ourselves, such as the imagined happiness or suffering of ourselves or another. In reading fiction we voluntarily participate in a hypothesis represented by the work. If this explanation is accepted, we can retain the view that beliefs always entail commitment to the reality of what is believed.
Keywords fiction  emotion  belief  aesthetic response  suspension of disbelief  imagination
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DOI 10.1093/bjaesthetics/19.2.120
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