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Literature and Moral UnderstandingA Philosophical Essay on Ethics, Aesthetics, Education, and Culture$
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Frank Palmer

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198242321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198242321.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 November 2020

Readers and Spectators

Readers and Spectators

(p.103) 5 Readers and Spectators
Literature and Moral Understanding

Frank Palmer

Oxford University Press

Fictional worlds are imaginatively engaged with and thus experienced just like the world of human beings. By calling them worlds, it is implied that they have or need to have, sufficient unity and coherence to be intelligible, which is not in some abstract or theoretical way like mathematics, but more of intelligible to people's emotions. Fiction may be a man-made contrivance but this does not mean that life in art is a different kind of life. Understanding the story involves understanding the characters as people and so with this, understanding the story involves understanding the characters as people. In other words, the credibility that readers or spectators seek in a story is inseparable from the credible realisation of the character.

Keywords:   fictional worlds, fiction, art, characters, realisation, readers, spectators, understanding, emotion, moral response

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