Fearing fictionally · Kendall L. Walton. In Alex Neill & Aaron Ridley (eds.), Arguing About Art: Contemporary Philosophical Debates. Routledge. pp. (). University of Michigan Professor Kendall Walton wrote his groundbreaking paper “Fearing Fictions” back in His paper truly merits all the. K. Walton on Fearing Fiction. In Stecker and Gracyk, Aesthetics Today (). This document is a summary of Kendall Walton, “Spelunking.
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Finally, Radford thinks there can be no denying his third premise, that fictional characters themselves are capable of moving us—as opposed to, say, actual or perhaps merely possible people in similar situations, who have undergone trials and tribulations very much like those in the story.
Some variations of this theory go so far as make their claims with reference to possible as opposed to real people and situations.
Kendall Walton’s “Fearing Fictions” | Sipping Philosophy
Sieber – forthcoming – IRB: The argument contains an inconsistent triad flctions premises, all of which seem initially plausible. If this were the case, as Walton points out, Charlie would be at least slightly inclined to flee the theater or call the police.
Illusion theorists, of whom there seem to be fewer and fewer these days, deny Radford’s second premise. What makes emotional response to fiction different from emotional response to real world characters and events is that, rather than having to believe in the actual existence of the entity or event in question, all we need do is “mentally represent” Peter Lamarque”entertain in thought” Noel Carrollor “imaginatively propose” Murray Smith it to ourselves.
Reading this report arouses states which have the phenomenological and ealton appearances of emotions, but which are not faring because they do not include the requisite belief. What has made the Pretend Theory in its various forms attractive to many philosophers is waltn apparent ability to handle a number of additional puzzles relating to audience engagement with fictions.
Glenn Hartz makes a similar point, in stronger language:.
Of course, what Radford means to say here is: When we watch a fictional movie or read a fictional novel, we are mentally simulating doing something else. Yet, for all the discussion, the issue has not.
Walton’s basic insight may be expressed as follows: You are commenting using your Twitter account. Eva Schaper, for example, in an article published three years before Lamarque’s, writes that: In a article, however, Radford himself attacks it on the following grounds:.
We respond to such worlds by imagining them. To the extent that one is able to identify significant dis analogies with familiar games of make-believe, then, Walton’s theory looks to be in trouble. As Noel Carroll writes in his book, The Philosophy of Horror”if it [the fear produced by horror films] were a pretend emotion, one would think that it could be engaged at will. Eva Schaper, for example, in an article published three years before Lamarque’s, writes that:.
According to Walton, one of the games of make-believe we play with fiction is to imagine that the novel is a true report of the activities of a person or a thing, or whatever. One of the major objections to his second premise considered by Radford is that, at least while we are engaged in the fiction, we somehow “forget” that what we are reading or watching isn’t real; in other words, that we get sufficiently “caught up” in the novel, movie, etc. Seeing-In and Seeing Fictionally.
This on the grounds that 1 existence beliefs concerning the objects of our emotions for example, that the characters in question really exist; that the events in question have really taken place are necessary for us to be moved by them, and 2 that such beliefs are lacking when we knowingly partake of works of fiction.
This summer, I took a phenomenal Philosophy and Literature course at Stanford. In response to this objection, Radford offers the following two considerations: Simulating an experience can generate real psychological responses.
More recently, film-philosopher Malcolm Turvey criticizes the Thought Theory on the grounds that it appears to ignore the concrete nature of the moving image, instead hypothesizing a “mental entity fictios the primary causal agent of the spectator’s emotional response”p. It is interesting to note that while virtually all of those writing on this subject credit Radford with initiating waltoj current debate, none of them have adopted his view as their own.
Disanalogies with Paradigmatic Cases of Make-Believe Games Walton introduces and supports his theory with reference to the familiar games of make-believe played by young children—games in which globs of mud are taken to be pies, for example, or games in which a father, pretending to be a vicious monster, will stalk his child keendall lunge at him at the crucial moment: Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Jessica Stern – – Social Research: Science Logic and Mathematics.
But unlike Radford, who looks at real-life kendqll of emotional response and the likelihood of their elimination when background conditions change in order to defend premise 1Walton offers nothing more than an appeal to “common sense”: As Gregory Currie explains, according kendal this latter theory, “we experience genuine emotions when we encounter fiction, but their relation to the story is causal rather than intentional; the story provokes thoughts about real people and situations, and these are the intentional objects of our emotions”p.
Kendall Walton – – In J. His quasi-fear results from this belief” p. Turvey himself fsaring a move in this direction when he writes that “the spectator’s capacity to ‘entertain’ a cinematic representation of a fictional referent does not require the postulation of an intermediate, mental entity such as a ‘thought’ or ‘imagination’ in order to be understood”p.
No keywords specified fix it. The so-called “paradox of emotional response to fiction” is an argument for the conclusion that our emotional response to fiction is irrational. These are questions the Thought theorist will have a tough time answering to the satisfaction of anyone not already inclined to agree with him.
As Hartz puts it, “how could anything as cerebral and out-of-the-loop as ‘make believe’ make adrenaline and cortisol flow?