Empathy in Appreciation: An Axiological Account

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (2):233-238 (2021)
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This paper argues that certain literary works can only be fully appreciated if the reader is able to experience through empathy the character’s values. I call it "the axiological account" because it makes the grasping of aesthetic values dependent on the experience of other values embodied in the work. I develop my argument in three stages. First, I argue that in empathy we not only apprehend but also experience something similar to what the target is going through. Next, I show how this experience is necessary to extract the aesthetic values of certain works. The final section addresses two challenges to the proposed account.



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Íngrid Vendrell-Ferran
University of Marburg

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References found in this work

The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration.Peter Goldie - 2000 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Formalism in ethics and non-formal ethics of values.Max Scheler - 1973 - Evanston,: Northwestern University Press.
Understanding empathy.Amy Coplan - 2011 - In Amy Coplan & Peter Goldie (eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 3--18.
Empathy, Simulation, and Narrative.Shaun Gallagher - 2012 - Science in Context 25 (3):355-381.

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