“Creativity and the Negative Emotions” by Derek Matravers (26 Apr)

Recent work by Malcolm Budd, Aaron Smuts, and others has shown the so-called ‘paradox of tragedy’ (the conjunction of the claims that we willingly submit ourselves to painful art and the hedonic view of motivation) is no such thing. What remains, according to Smuts, is the ‘motivation question’ (‘Why do people want to see painful art?’) and the ‘difference question’ (Why do people subject themselves to things in art that they would not in real life?’). This paper argues that this obscures the deeper role of negative emotions in art: that they are essential for creativity. Drawing on the work on Richard Wollheim, this paper sketches an account of artistic creativity that draws on the work of Melanie Klein and Hannah Segal. Along the way, it has something to say about the role of intention in interpretation, before answering Smuts’ two questions.

Philosophy Seminar Series.
Date: Thursday, 26 Apr 2012
Time: 2-4pm
Venue: Philosophy Resource Room (AS3 Level 5)
Speaker: Derek Matravers, Professor of Philosophy, The Open University
Moderator: Dr. Ben Blumson

About the Speaker: Derek Matravers is Professor of Philosophy at The Open University and Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He current interests lie in aesthetics; particularly with fiction and narrative. His introduction to the Philosophy of Art is about to appear with Acumen Press and his book, Fiction and Narrative, will appear with OUP next year. He is the author of Art and Emotion (1998, Clarendon Press), as well as numerous articles in aesthetics, ethics and the philosophy of mind.

More information on the Philosophy Seminar Series can be found here. A list of past talks in the series can be found here.