Íngrid Vendrell Ferran: "The Emotion View of Appreciation"

The Higher Seminar in Aesthetics

Íngrid Vendrell Ferran, Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena: "The Emotion View of Appreciation"

This paper discusses how appropriate emotional responses might contribute to the appreciation of literary works. The paper is structured in four main sections. It starts by presenting appreciation as a complex activity which is different from understanding and which has to do with extracting the value of the work (sect. 1). Next, I focus on one of the activities which might be involved in appreciation: responding emotionally to the literary work. Two models of appreciation are discussed: “the intellectualized view of appreciation” and what I call “the emotion view of appreciation” (sect. 2). In the following section, I develop the notion of  “appropriate emotional response” (sect. 3). Finally, I argue for a weak version of the emotion view according to which appropriate emotional responses are sometimes necessary to appreciate certain aspects of the literary work. In particular, appropriate emotional responses might be necessary for focusing our attention to significant aspects of the work, for engaging imaginatively with it and for fullydisclosing the evaluative properties presented in it.