Paradox of Fiction : What does it mean to be moved by the fictional character?



Year of publication 2015
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Analytic philosophers have given a great deal of attention to problems related to fictionality. This contribution deals with the so-called Paradox of emotional response to fiction or simply Paradox of fiction. The paradox is based on three intuitively plausible propositions: 1. Readers or audiences often experience emotional response towards objects they know to be fictional. 2. A necessary condition for experiencing emotions is that those experiencing them believe the objects of their emotions exist. 3. Readers or audience who know that the objects are fictional do not believe that these objects exist. As these three propositions are mutually inconsistent at least one must be false. Many philosophers have tried for forty years to find out a solution in order to understand why and how this paradox happens -- how is it that we can be moved by what we know does not exist? This contribution will explore and analyse the most important solutions of this paradox. It will be shown that none of the responses given during last 40 years is unproblematic and that many objections can be raised towards those responses.
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