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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is a resurgence of Aristotelian concerns in philosophical approaches to tragedy in the eighteenth century. The philosophical literature of the period is rife with proposed solutions to the problem of the delightfulness of imitations of undelightful things and to the more specific problem of tragic pleasure. The latter include attempts to identify different objects of our pleasure and uneasiness as well as distinct attempts to explain how it is that pleasure can depend on such uneasiness. These areas of concern are most likely not unrelated to growing philosophical interest in the sentiments and in spectator response. Many of the solutions canvassed here have stood the test of time to reemerge unscathed and only marginally altered in the philosophical literature of the present day.

Keywords: paradox of tragedy, drama, fiction, emotion, pleasure in imitation, sympathy, Hume, Smith, George Campbell, Burke

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