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Contemplating ArtEssays in Aesthetics$
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Jerrold Levinson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206179.001.0001

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Emotion in Response to Art

Emotion in Response to Art

(p.38) 3 Emotion in Response to Art
Contemplating Art

Jerrold Levinson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This essay surveys the range of philosophical problems that can be encompassed under the rubric, emotion in response to art. It details five such problems, according most of its attention to the nature of the emotional responses had to art, and the puzzle of emotional responses to fictional entities known to be fictional (what is often labeled ‘the paradox of fiction’). Attention is also given to the puzzle of how people derive satisfaction from art expressive or evocative of negative emotion (what is often labeled ‘the paradox of tragedy’), and to the question of how abstract works of art (such as pieces of instrumental music) manage to express or evoke emotions at all.

Keywords:   philosophical problems, emotional response, paradox of fiction, paradox of tragedy, abstract art, artworks

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