Imagining the Truth: An Account of Tragic Pleasure

In Matthew Kieran & Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts. London and New York: pp. 177-185 (2003)
Authors
James Shelley
Auburn University
Abstract
The problem of tragedy is the problem of explaining why tragedy gives us the pleasure that it does, given that it has the content that it has. I propose a series of constraints that any adequate solution to the problem must satisfy. Then I develop a solution to the problem that satisfies those constraints. But I do not claim that the solution I develop uniquely satisfies the constraints I propose. I aim merely to narrow the field of contending solutions, and then to draw attention to an overlooked contended in that narrowed field.
Keywords Pleasure  Pain  Freud  Self-deception  wish-fulfillment  make-belief
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