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Rubber Ring: Why do we listen to sad songs?

In John Gibson & Noel Carroll (eds.), Narrative, Emotion, and Insight. Penn State UP. pp. 131 (2011)

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  1. The Feels Good Theory of Pleasure.Aaron Smuts - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):241-265.
    Most philosophers since Sidgwick have thought that the various forms of pleasure differ so radically that one cannot find a common, distinctive feeling among them. This is known as the heterogeneity problem. To get around this problem, the motivational theory of pleasure suggests that what makes an experience one of pleasure is our reaction to it, not something internal to the experience. I argue that the motivational theory is wrong, and not only wrong, but backwards. The heterogeneity problem is the (...)
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  • Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan.
    In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art (...)
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  • Meriting a Response: The Paradox of Seductive Artworks.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):465-482.
    According to what I call the Merit Principle, roughly, works of art that attempt to elicit unmerited responses fail on their own terms and are thereby aesthetically flawed. A horror film, for instance, that attempts to elicit fear towards something that is not scary is to that extent aesthetically flawed. The Merit Principle is not only intuitive, it is also endorsed in some form by Aristotle, David Hume, and numerous contemporary figures. In this paper, I show how the principle leads (...)
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  • Love and Death: The Problem of Resilience.Aaron Smuts - forthcoming - In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. Rowman & Littlefield.
    The strongly resilient are able to quickly get over the loss of their beloved. This is not an entirely attractive capacity. In this paper, I argue that it is appropriate to be distressed about the fact that we might, quickly or slowly, get over the death of our loved ones. Moller argues that the principal problem with resilience is that it puts us in a defective epistemological position, one where we are no longer able to appreciate the significance of what (...)
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  • Cognitive and Philosophical Approaches to Horror.Aaron Smuts - forthcoming - In Harry Benshoff (ed.), Blackwell Companion to the Horror Film. Blackwell.
    Four main issues have occupied center stage in the analytic-cognitivist work on horror: (1) What is horror? (2) What is the appeal of horror? (3) How does it frighten audiences? and, (4) is it irrational to be scared of horror fiction?
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