Alex Neill, Fiction and the Emotions

Beliefs and fiction

Pity and beliefs about what happens in fiction

Why fear for oneself and jealousy directed at a ficitonal characters not possible

More worries about the idea that pity can be based on beliefs about what is fictionally the case


Pity and the desire that suffering end

  • Conclusion
    • Emotions like pity can be genuinely directed at both fiction and reality
    • Beliefs about what is fictionally the case can lead to necessary features of pity: certain feelings, sensations, attitude of distress and desires
    • We can feel pity for fictional characters
    • Sometimes we may take pleasure in their misfortune (schadenfreude)
    • We can envy and admire fictional characters
    • Fear for and with them
      • Not fear them! Or be jealous of them
    • Why can we envy fictional characters, but not be jealous of them?
    • But emotions are very different from each other and can't assume one analysis works for all emotions.