The Paradox of Fiction: A Critical Review of the Main Theories

Keywords: the paradox of fiction, the illusion theory, the quasi-emotion theory, the thought theory


The subject of the article is the paradox of fiction. I present the most important attempts to explain and solve it. I argue that this paradox results from the assumption that an emotional response requires the belief that something is really there. This belief is not necessary at all — someone can be afraid that p, and at the same time not have a strong belief that p. It is enough to have a specific thought. I defend the thesis that our emotional reactions are mediated by the mind and its representational and content-related equipment. Due to the modest literature on this topic in Polish, the article was written in the author’s native language. The article is therefore educational and, above all, popularizing.

Author Biography

Andrzej Dąbrowski, Pedagogical University of Krakow, Poland

Dr. habil. Andrzej Dąbrowski, prof. at UP — Pedagogical University of Krakow (UP), Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Department of Epistemology, Logic and Cognitive Science


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