Art and Emotion

Matravers, Derek (1998). Art and Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Derek Matravers examines how emotions form a bridge between our experience of art and of life. We often find that a particular poem, painting, or piece of music carries an emotional charge; and we may experience emotions towards, or on behalf of, a particular fictional character. These experiences are philosophically puzzling, for their causes seem quite different from the causes of emotion in the rest of our lives. Matravers shows that what these experiences have in common, and what links them to the expression of emotion in non-artistic cases, is the role played by feeling. He carries out a critical survey of various accounts of the nature of fiction, attacks contemporary cognitivist accounts of expression, and offers an uncompromising defence of a controversial view about musical expression: that music expresses the emotions it causes its listeners to feel.

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