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Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind$
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Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin, and Jon Robson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669639.001.0001

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Physiological Evidence and the Paradox of Fiction

Physiological Evidence and the Paradox of Fiction

Chapter:
(p.205) 10 Physiological Evidence and the Paradox of Fiction
Source:
Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind
Author(s):

Kathleen Stock

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669639.003.0011

Philosophical aesthetics has increasingly turned towards empirical evidence to settle long-standing questions. Yet, surprisingly, given philosophers’ tendencies to cautious critical analysis, the use of such evidence is not always inspected as scrupulously as it could be. In this paper, Stock presents a case study illustrating what she takes to be one instance of the misuse of empirical evidence in a current debate within aesthetics: that of the so-called ‘paradox of fiction’. In some relatively recent literature, there has been a shift towards the citing of sub-personal events as a means of attempting to address this problem. In particular, those neurological or other physiological events that accompany imaginative responses to fictional entities are often cited. Yet, Stock argues, there are often flaws in the way empirical evidence is used to support this sort of account.

Keywords:   imagination, paradox of fiction, fiction and emotion, affective responses, imagination, perception, mental imagery

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