Can we experience genuine emotions in response to imagined situations?

Essay by leyukkUniversity, Bachelor'sC, April 2004

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Downloaded 41 times

It is important to define what we mean by imagined situations. In the course of this essay we will commonly refer to them as events contained within fiction but they can be found as an extention, or alternative to real life problems we face as well. Fiction can be, and has been used as a reference points for the majority of imagined situations in this essay.

D. Maltravers often refers to works of fiction as events which we imagine to be a report of real life events in his so-called "Report Model". This is effectively fiction reported as fact. A storyteller can relate his story on a variety of platforms but he believes that when reading a novel or watching a film the situation we are reading is sufficiently similar to the situation of reading a report of actual events. So it is natural for us to imagine that the novel is simply a report of actual events.

The actual experience of the reader is to therefore be sitting in his chair and reading sentences in a book of watching a film. It is a prepositional attitude of imagining towards content of a fictional situation. The reader or viewer will contruct a game of 'make-believe' based on what is explicitly said and what he is assumed to believe. For instance, in Gulliver's Travels, the author mandates the reader to make-believe he is reading a journal written by Gulliver and he in fact led the adventures he had in the book. What is essential is that the game of make-believe must be compatible with what the real world is causing the reader to experience.

If the report model is the true way in which we experience events of fiction then no real emotions can possibly follow. This is because we have...