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Erkenntnis

, Volume 79, Issue 4, pp 779–796 | Cite as

Does the Paradox of Fiction Exist?

  • Katherine Tullmann
  • Wesley Buckwalter
Original Article

Abstract

Many philosophers have attempted to provide a solution to the paradox of fiction, a triad of sentences that lead to the conclusion that genuine emotional responses to fiction are irrational. We suggest that disagreement over the best response to this paradox stems directly from the formulation of the paradox itself. Our main goal is to show that there is an ambiguity regarding the word ‘exist’ throughout the premises of the paradox. To reveal this ambiguity, we display the diverse existential commitments of several leading theories of emotion, and argue that none of the theories we consider are committed to notions of ‘exist’ employed by the paradox. We conclude that it is unclear whether or not there remains a paradox of fiction to be solved—rather than to be argued for—once this ambiguity is addressed.

Keywords

Emotional Response Actual World Affective Response Fictional Character Bodily Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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