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James Harold [30]James A. Harold [4]James Edward Harold [1]
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Profile: James Harold (Mount Holyoke College)
  1. On the Ancient Idea That Music Shapes Character.James Harold - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (3):341-354.
    Ancient Chinese and Greek thinkers alike were preoccupied with the moral value of music; they distinguished between good and bad music by looking at the music’s effect on moral character. The idea can be understood in terms of two closely related questions. Does music have the power to affect the ethical character of either listener or performer? If it does, is it better as music for doing so? I argue that an affirmative answers to both questions are more plausible than (...)
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  2.  42
    Literary Cognitivism.James Harold - 2015 - In Noel Carroll & John Gibson (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature. Routledge.
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  3. Immoralism and the Valence Constraint.James Harold - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):45-64.
    Immoralists hold that in at least some cases, moral fl aws in artworks can increase their aesthetic value. They deny what I call the valence constraint: the view that any effect that an artwork’s moral value has on its aesthetic merit must have the same valence. The immoralist offers three arguments against the valence constraint. In this paper I argue that these arguments fail, and that this failure reveals something deep and interesting about the relationship between cognitive and moral value. (...)
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  4. Cognitivism, Non-Cognitivism, and Skepticism About Folk Psychology.James Harold - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (2):165 - 185.
    In recent years it has become more and more difficult to distinguish between metaethical cognitivism and non-cognitivism. For example, proponents of the minimalist theory of truth hold that moral claims need not express beliefs in order to be (minimally) truth-apt, and yet some of these proponents still reject the traditional cognitivist analysis of moral language and thought. Thus, the dispute in metaethics between cognitivists and non-cognitivists has come to be seen as a dispute over the correct way to characterize our (...)
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  5. Narrative Engagement with Atonement and The Blind Assassin.James Harold - 2005 - Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):130-145.
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  6. Can Expressivists Tell the Difference Between Beauty and Moral Goodness?James Harold - 2008 - American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (3):289-300.
    One important but infrequently discussed difficulty with expressivism is the attitude type individuation problem.1 Expressivist theories purport to provide a unified account of normative states. Judgments of moral goodness, beauty, humor, prudence, and the like, are all explicated in the same way: as expressions of attitudes, what Allan Gibbard calls “states of norm-acceptance”. However, expressivism also needs to explain the difference between these different sorts of attitude. It is possible to judge that a thing is both aesthetically good and morally (...)
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  7. Autonomism Reconsidered.James Harold - 2011 - British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (2):137-147.
    This paper has three aims: to define autonomism clearly and charitably, to offer a positive argument in its favour, and to defend a larger view about what is at stake in the debate between autonomism and its critics. Autonomism is here understood as the claim that a valuer does not make an error in failing to bring her moral and aesthetic judgements together, unless she herself values doing so. The paper goes on to argue that reason does not require the (...)
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  8. The Ethics of Non-Realist Fiction: Morality's Catch-22.James Harold - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (2):145-159.
    The topic of this essay is how non-realistic novels challenge our philosophical understanding of the moral significance of literature. I consider just one case: Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. I argue that standard philosophical views, based as they are on realistic models of literature, fail to capture the moral significance of this work. I show that Catch-22 succeeds morally because of the ways it resists using standard realistic techniques, and suggest that philosophical discussion of ethics and literature must be pluralistic if it (...)
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  9. Without Taste: Psychopaths and the Appreciation of Art.Heidi Maibom & James Harold - 2010 - Nouvelle Revue d'Esthétique 6:151-63.
    Psychopaths are the bugbears of moral philosophy. They are often used as examples of perfectly rational people who are nonetheless willing to do great moral wrong without regret; hence the disorder has received the epithet “moral insanity” (Pritchard 1835). But whereas philosophers have had a great deal to say about psychopaths’ glaring and often horrifying lack of moral conscience, their aesthetic capacities have received hardly any attention, and are generally assumed to be intact or even enhanced. Popular culture often portrays (...)
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  10. Mixed Feelings: Conflicts in Emotional Responses to Film.James Harold - 2010 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 34 (1):280-294.
    Some films scare us; some make us cry; some thrill us. Some of the most interesting films, however, leave us suspended between feelings – both joyous and sad, or angry and serene. This paper attempts to explain how this can happen and why it is important. I look closely at one film that creates and exploits these conflicted responses. I argue that cases of conflict in film illuminate a pair of vexing questions about emotion in film: (1) To what extent (...)
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  11.  34
    Flexing the Imagination.James Harold - 2003 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61 (3):247–258.
    I explore the claim that “fictive imagining” – imagining what it is like to be a character – can be morally dangerous. In particular, I consider the controversy over William Styron’s imagining the revolutionary protagonist in his Confessions of Nat Turner. I employ Ted Cohen’s model of fictive imagining to argue, following a generally Kantian line of thought, that fictive imagining can be dangerous if one has the wrong motives. After considering several possible motives, I argue that only internally directed (...)
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  12. Is Xunzi's Virtue Ethics Susceptible to the Problem of Alienation?James Harold - 2011 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 10 (1):71-84.
    In this essay I argue that if Kantian and consequentialist ethical theories are vulnerable to the so-called “problem of alienation,” a virtue ethics based on Xunzi’s ethical writings will also be vulnerable to this problem. I outline the problem of alienation, and then show that the role of ritual ( li ) in Xunzi’s theory renders his view susceptible to the problem as it has been traditionally understood. I consider some replies on Xunzi’s behalf, and also discuss whether the problem (...)
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  13. Empathy with Fictions.James Harold - 2000 - British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (3):340-355.
    IT IS DIFFICULT for me to read Pride and Prejudice without empathizing either with Elizabeth Bennet, or sometimes with her father, Mr Bennet. Not only do my own responses to and opinions of the events and characters of the book at times resemble theirs, but even when they do not, I find myself seeing the event from Elizabeth’s or Mr Bennet’s point of view. For example, at the close of the book, Elizabeth’s former dislike of Mr Darcy has completely vanished, (...)
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  14.  70
    Narrative Engagement with Atonement and The Blind Assasin.James Harold - 2005 - Philosophy and Literature 29 (1):130-145.
    Two recent novels, Ian McEwan’s Atonement and Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, are philosophically instructive. These books are interesting, I argue, because they reveal something about understanding and appreciating narrative. They show us that audience’s participation in narrative is much more subtle and complex than philosophers generally acknowledge. An analysis of these books reveals that narrative imagining is not static or unified, but dynamic and multipolar. I argue that once the complexity of narrative engagement is better understood, some prominent philosophical (...)
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  15.  14
    Literature, Genre Fiction, and Standards of Criticism.James Harold - 2011 - Nonsite.Org 1 (4).
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  16.  63
    Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Value.James Harold - 2005 - Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (1):85–105.
    Moral philosophers who differ from one another on a wide range of questions tend to agree on at least one general point. Most believe that things are worth valuing either because of their relationship to something else worth valuing, or because they are simply (in themselves) worth valuing. I value my car, because I value getting to work; I value getting to work, because I value making money and spending time productively; and I value those things because I value leading (...)
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  17.  49
    On Judging the Moral Value of Narrative Artworks.James Harold - 2006 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (2):259–270.
    In this paper, I argue that in at least some interesting cases, the moral value of a narrative work depends on the aesthetic properties of that artwork. It does not follow that a work that is aesthetically bad will be morally bad (or that it will be morally good). The argument comprises four stages. First I describe several different features of imaginative engagement with narrative artworks. Then I show that these features depend on some of the aesthetic properties of those (...)
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  18.  53
    Infected by Evil.James Harold - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (2):173 – 187.
    In this paper I argue that there is good reason to believe that we can be influenced by fictions in ways that matter morally, and some of the time we will be unaware that we have been so influenced. These arguments fall short of proving a clear causal link between fictions and specific changes in the audience, but they do reveal rather interesting and complex features of the moral psychology of fiction. In particular, they reveal that some Platonic worries about (...)
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  19.  96
    The Value of Fictional Worlds (or Why 'the Lord of the Rings' is Worth Reading).James Harold - 2010 - Contemporary Aesthetics 8.
    Some works of fiction are widely held by critics to have little value, yet these works are not only popular but also widely admired in ways that are not always appreciated. In this paper I make use of Kendall Walton’s account of fictional worlds to argue that fictional worlds can and often do have value, including aesthetic value, that is independent of the works that create them. In the process, I critique Walton’s notion of fictional worlds and offer a defense (...)
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  20.  36
    Practical Reason and 'Companions in Guilt'.James Harold - 2003 - Philosophical Investigations 26 (4):311–331.
    Since Phillipa Foot’s paper ‘Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives’ was published some twenty-five years ago, questions about categorical imperatives and the alleged rationality of acting morally have been of central concern to ethicists. For critics and friends of Kantian ethical theories, these questions have special importance. One of the distinctive features of Kantian ethical theories is that they claim that there are categorical imperatives: imperatives which dictate which actions one should follow insofar as one is rational.This way of (...)
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  21.  59
    Imagining Evil (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sopranos).James Harold - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 12:7-14.
    In this paper, I explore a set of moral questions about the portrayal of evil characters in fiction: might the portrayal of evil in fiction ever be morally wrong? If so, under what circumstances and for what reasons? What kinds of portrayals are morally wrong and what kinds are not? I argue that whether or not imagining evil is morally wrong depends on the formal and structural properties of the work.
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  22.  58
    Review of Jenefer Robinson, Deeper Than Reason: Emotion and its Role in Literature, Music, and Art[REVIEW]James Harold - 2007 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (6).
  23.  18
    Travelers, Mercenaries, and Psychopaths.James Harold & Carl Elliott - 1999 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 6 (1):45-48.
  24.  23
    Review of Gregory Currie, Narratives and Narrators: A Philosophy of Stories[REVIEW]James Harold - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (10).
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  25.  23
    Review of Elisabeth Schellekens, Aesthetics and Morality[REVIEW]James Harold - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (7).
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  26.  15
    Narrative Vs. Theory.James Harold - 2001 - American Journal of Bioethics 1 (1):48-49.
  27.  7
    Inscriptions and Reflections.James Harold - 1990 - Review of Metaphysics 43 (4):882-883.
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  28.  2
    4. The Importance of Unity and Intelligibility: Reconciling Philosophy, the Sciences, and Our Lived Experience.James A. Harold - 2007 - Logos 10 (2).
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  29.  1
    Distinguishing the Lover of Peace From the Pacifist, the Appeaser, and the Warmonger.James A. Harold - 2013 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 18 (1):5-17.
  30.  1
    Sans Goût : L'Art Et le Psychopathe.Heidi L. Maibom, James Harold & Jean-Claude Hugon - 2010 - Nouvelle Revue D’Esthétique 6 (2):151.
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  31.  2
    Fiction and the Weave of Life.James Harold - 2009 - British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (1):88-91.
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  32.  34
    An Introduction to the Love of Wisdom: An Essential and Existential Approach to Philosophy.James A. Harold - 2004 - University Press of America.
    The purpose of this engaging book is twofold: to explain and justify the primary objects and methods of the discipline of philosophy, and to show how philosophy ...
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  33. Imagining Evil.James Harold - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 12:7-14.
    In this paper, I explore a set of moral questions about the portrayal of evil characters in fiction: might the portrayal of evil in fiction ever be morally wrong? If so, under what circumstances and for what reasons? What kinds of portrayals are morally wrong and what kinds are not? I argue that whether or not imagining evil is morally wrong depends on the formal and structural properties of the work.
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  34. Rationality Within Modern Psychological Theory: Integrating Philosophy and Empirical Science.James A. Harold - 2016 - Lexington Books.
    Rationality within Modern Psychological Theory examines the rational and irrational dimensions of human nature and of the psyche and logos through the lenses of classical philosophy and modern psychology.
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