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Belief emotion and value in literature

Terras, Nicholas Charles; (1991) Belief emotion and value in literature. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

My subject is literary aesthetics. The guiding principle of the thesis as a whole is to set out and explore some of the central philosophical issues relating to the nature, conditions, and value of literary experience. The thesis consists of four chapters, each of which concentrates upon a specific problem. The chapters are: Chapter 1: Literary Value. In this chapter I address the question of what it is to value something as a work of literary art. In the first part of the chapter I provide a definition, and in the second part I consider the problem of the subjectivity and objectivity of aesthetic judgement, and the nature of critical reasoning. Chapter 2: The Problem of Belief This chapter deals with the question of whether a reader's agreement or disagreement with an author's beliefs is a relevant consideration in determining the aesthetic merits of his work. Chapter 3: Emotion in Fiction The topic of this chapter is the nature, conditions and rationality of emotional responses to literary fiction. I examine a recent influential theory of the nature of these responses, present my own view, and go on to review the debate about the rationality and coherence of emotional response to fiction. Chapter 4: The Tragic Emotions and the Value of Tragedy The problem of this chapter originates in Aristotle's view that tragic art pleases via the arousal of painful emotions. This gives rise to a series of paradoxes: Why is there a pleasure related to the experience of painful emotions?; Why do we enjoy tragic art at all?; What role do the emotions play?; and so on. I try to answer these and other questions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Belief emotion and value in literature
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Philosophy, religion and theology; Literary aesthetics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107547
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