Title

Du Bos' paradox

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

British Journal of Aesthetics

Publication Date

10-1-2013

Volume

53

Issue

4

First Page

393

Last Page

406

Abstract

What is now generally known as the paradox of art and negative affect was identified as a paradox by the Abbé Jean-Baptiste Du Bos in 1719. In his attempt to explain how people can admire and enjoy representational works that ‘afflict’ them, Du Bos claims that such representations give rise to ‘artificial’ emotions, provide a pleasurable relief from boredom, and offer us epistemic, artistic, and moral rewards. The paper delineates Du Bos’ proposal, considers the question of Du Bos’ originality, and discusses Hume’s brief comments on Du Bos and Fontenelle.

DOI

10.1093/aesthj/ayt034

Print ISSN

00070904

E-ISSN

14682842

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 British Society of Aesthetics

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Recommended Citation

Livingston, P. N. (2013). Du Bos' paradox. British Journal of Aesthetics, 53(4), 393-406. doi: 10.1093/aesthj/ayt034