Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being

In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan (2013)

Authors
Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College
Abstract
In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art is bad for us. Accordingly, we may rightly wonder if it rational for people to watch melodramas or to listen to love songs. One might think that we should generally avoid unpleasant works of art. This implication flirts with absurdity. I show how it can be avoided by making a distinction between well-being and worth.
Keywords painful art  paradox of tragedy  welfare  well-being  life worth living  valuing  emotion
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,183
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

.Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.) - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Utilitarianism.John Stuart Mill - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2000 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

View all 80 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Paradox of Painful Art.Aaron Smuts - 2007 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 41 (3):59-77.
Art and Negative Affect.Aaron Smuts - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):39-55.
Rubber Ring: Why Do We Listen to Sad Songs?Aaron Smuts - 2011 - In John Gibson & Noel Carroll (eds.), Narrative, Emotion, and Insight. Penn State UP. pp. 131.
The Pleasures of Documentary Tragedy.Stacie Friend - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):184-198.
The Feels Good Theory of Pleasure.Aaron Smuts - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):241-265.
Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.
Conceptual Art is Not What It Seems.Dominic McIver Lopes - 2007 - In Peter Goldie & Elisabeth Schellekens (eds.), Philosophy and Conceptual Art. Oxford University Press.
Tragedy and Reparation.Elisa Galgut - 2009 - In Pedro Alexis Tabensky (ed.), The Positive Function of Evil. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Kames's Naturalist Aesthetics and the Case of Tragedy.Rachel Zuckert - 2009 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (2):147-162.
Street Art: The Transfiguration of the Commonplaces.Nick Riggle - 2010 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (3):243-257.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-07-13

Total views
125 ( #57,052 of 2,237,330 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #61,699 of 2,237,330 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature