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  1. added 2019-12-01
    Barbarous Spectacle and General Massacre: A Defence of Gory Fictions.Ian Stoner - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Many people suspect it is morally wrong to watch the graphically violent horror films colloquially known as gorefests. A prominent argument vindicating this suspicion is the Argument from Reactive Attitudes (ARA). The ARA holds that we have a duty to maintain a well-functioning moral psychology, and watching gorefests violates that duty by threatening damage to our appropriate reactive attitudes. But I argue that the ARA is probably unsound. Depictions of suffering and death in other genres typically do no damage our (...)
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  2. added 2018-03-25
    The Meanings of Disgusting Art.Filippo Contesi - 2016 - Essays in Philosophy 17 (1):68-94.
    It has been recently argued, contrary to the received eighteenth-century view, that disgust is compatible with aesthetic pleasure. According to such arguments, what allows this compatibility is the interest that art appreciators sometimes bestow on the cognitive content of disgust. On this view, the most interesting aspect of this cognitive content is identified in meanings connected with human mortality. The aim of this paper is to show that these arguments are unsuccessful.
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  3. added 2015-03-22
    Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics. [REVIEW]Filippo Contesi - 2012 - British Journal of Aesthetics 52 (1):113-116.
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  4. added 2014-03-14
    The Pleasures of Documentary Tragedy.Stacie Friend - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):184-198.
    Two assumptions are common in discussions of the paradox of tragedy: (1) that tragic pleasure requires that the work be fictional or, if non-fiction, then non-transparently represented; and (2) that tragic pleasure may be provoked by a wide variety of art forms. In opposition to (1) I argue that certain documentaries could produce tragic pleasure. This is not to say that any sad or painful documentary could do so. In considering which documentaries might be plausible candidates, I further argue, against (...)
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  5. added 2014-03-11
    Art and Negative Affect.Aaron Smuts - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):39-55.
    Why do people seemingly want to be scared by movies and feel pity for fictional characters when they avoid situations in real life that arouse these same negative emotions? Although the domain of relevant artworks encompasses far more than just tragedy, the general problem is typically called the paradox of tragedy. The paradox boils down to a simple question: If people avoid pain then why do people want to experience art that is painful? I discuss six popular solutions to the (...)
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  6. added 2013-06-16
    Rubber Ring: Why Do We Listen to Sad Songs?Aaron Smuts - 2011 - In John Gibson & Noel Carroll (eds.), Narrative, Emotion, and Insight. Penn State UP. pp. 131.
    In this essay, I discuss a few ways in which songs are used, ways in which listeners engage with and find meaning in music. I am most interested in sad songs—those that typically feature narratives about lost love, separation, missed opportunity, regret, hardship, and all manner of heartache. Many of us are drawn to sad songs in moments of emotional distress. The problem is that sad songs do not always make us feel better; to the contrary, they often make us (...)
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