Does the Paradox of Fiction Exist?

Erkenntnis 79 (4):779-796 (2014)
Authors
Katie Tullmann
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Wesley Buckwalter
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
Many philosophers have attempted to provide a solution to the paradox of fiction, a triad of sentences that lead to the conclusion that genuine emotional responses to fiction are irrational. We suggest that disagreement over the best response to this paradox stems directly from the formulation of the paradox itself. Our main goal is to show that there is an ambiguity regarding the word ‘exist’ throughout the premises of the paradox. To reveal this ambiguity, we display the diverse existential commitments of several leading theories of emotion, and argue that none of the theories we consider are committed to notions of ‘exist’ employed by the paradox. We conclude that it is unclear whether or not there remains a paradox of fiction to be solved—rather than to be argued for—once this ambiguity is addressed
Keywords emotion  fiction  existence  rationality
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-013-9563-z
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics.Florian Cova, Amanda Garcia & Shen-yi Liao - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):927-939.
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