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What's Hecuba to him? : fictional events and actual emotions

Author: E M Dadlez
Publisher: University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, ©1997.
Series: Literature and philosophy.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book engages contemporary debate over the seeming irrationality or inauthenticity of our emotional response to fiction, examining the many positions taken in this debate and arguing that we can understand the relation between cognition and emotion without devaluing our emotional responses to fiction. It takes Hamlet's famous query as the first step in an analytic philosophical inquiry and, by considering some
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Dadlez, E.M. (Eva M.), 1956-
What's Hecuba to him?
University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, ©1997
(OCoLC)605039479
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: E M Dadlez
ISBN: 0271016507 9780271016504 0271016515 9780271016511
OCLC Number: 35292986
Description: viii, 240 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: Fiction, Emotion, and Irrationality --
Emotions --
Irrationality in Emotion --
Fictional Events and Irrational Emotions --
Nearing Fictions: Feeling as Believing --
The Emotional and the Quasi Emotional --
Making-Believe --
Addressing Fictions and Expressing Desires --
Playing Inconsistent Games --
Objects of Emotion and Emotional Imagination --
Responding to Actual People and Events --
Thoughts and Thought Contents as Intentional Objects --
Possibility and Potentiality as Objects of Emotion --
Emotion, Imagination, and Attention --
Imagining Emotionally --
Fiction, Emotion, and Morality --
Emotion and Normative Judgment --
Love's Best Guess: The Merely Fictional --
Moral Conflict and the Limits of the Imagination --
A Digression on Humor --
Imagining Possibilities and the Possibility of Imagining --
Imagining Fictional Worlds --
Fictional Worlds --
Imagining Fictions --
Imagination as Interpretation --
Imaginative Engagement --
Imagining the Real --
Feeling with Fiction: Empathy and Imagination --
Emotion and Empathy --
Empathetic Emotion and Second-Order Belief --
Empathetic Imagination --
Feeling with the Fictional --
Empathy and Necessity --
The Empathetic and the Normative --
The Satisfyingly Sad and the Sadly Satisfying --
Enjoying Excitement and Emotional Release --
Achieving Equilibrium: Rehearsal and Meta-Response --
Clarification, Comprehension, and Construal --
Form and Content --
Appreciating Aesthetically.
Series Title: Literature and philosophy.
Responsibility: E.M. Dadlez.

Abstract:

This book engages contemporary debate over the seeming irrationality or inauthenticity of our emotional response to fiction, examining the many positions taken in this debate and arguing that we can understand the relation between cognition and emotion without devaluing our emotional responses to fiction. It takes Hamlet's famous query as the first step in an analytic philosophical inquiry and, by considering some of the answers that derive from that question, arrives at a set of necessary conditions for an emotional response to fiction.

What Hamlet's player feels for Hecuba, proposes Dadlez, is no more illusory than what we feel for Hamlet; that the actor weeps for Hecuba reflects both our capacity to envision and understand a seemingly limitless variety of human situations - to empathize with others - and the capacity of fiction to facilitate such understanding. What's Hecuba to Him? is an enticingly written work that opens an entire philosophical arena to literary scholars and illuminates the significance that literature has for our moral life.

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