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provide the basis for a general theory of fictional narratives and moral understanding. More-
over, it should be stressed that even where there is the acquisition of a new proposition or con-
cept, the fictional narrative itself provides no probative force for the acquired “knowledge,”
since the fiction is made up. If the proposition is to be justified, it must find warrant in the real
world. (The concession that new propositions may be acquired in the process of deepening our
NOTES 431

moral understanding of fictional narratives is a response to a comment by Jerrold Levinson. But
I remain skeptical about his suggestion that the fictional narrative can serve as part of the data
base for newly acquired principles and concepts.)
30. In response to my suggestions about the moral assessment of artworks, some autonomists
might say that though I have shown how some artworks might be evaluated morally, never-
theless this sort of moral assessment is never relevant to the aesthetic assessment of artworks.
I have tried to deal with this objection in “Moderate Moralism,” British Journal of Aesthetics
36, no. 3 (1996): 223“37. See also Berys Gaut, “Ethical Criticism,” in Aesthetics and Ethics,
ed. by Jerrold Levinson (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

M O D E R AT E MORALISM
1. Moderate moralism represents a departure from an earlier position of mine that I called
soft-formalism. See No«l, Carroll “Formalism and Critical Evaluation,” in Peter J.
McCormick (ed.), The Reasons of Art (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1985).
2. See Clive Bell, Art (London: Chatto and Windus, 1924).
3. Though I have only discussed narrative artworks as a counterexample to radical autonomism,
the case could be made with reference to other artforms or genres, such as portraiture.
4. On one view of the morally educative powers of narrative, it is supposed that audiences
derive novel, general, moral propositions from texts and then they apply those propositions
to the world. I agree that this is not an accurate, comprehensive account because most of
the propositions derived from narratives are truisms. But this is not the picture of the
educative powers of narrative that I advance. I agree that narratives generally play off the
moral beliefs and emotions that we already possess and that we already employ in our inter-
course with the world. However, in exercising these preexisting moral powers in response to
texts, the texts may become opportunities for enhancing our already existing moral under-
standing.Thus, the direction of moral education with respect to narratives is not from the
text to the world by way of newly acquired moral propositions. Rather, antecedent moral
beliefs about the world may be expanded by commerce with texts that enlarge our moral
understanding. In stressing the world-to-text relation between moral understanding and
narratives, rather than the text-to-world relation, my position converges on the one
defended by Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen in their Truth, Fiction and Literature:
A Philosophical Perspective (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994).
5. This view of moral understanding is defended at greater length in No«l Carroll,“Art, Nar-
rative and Morality,” in Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Aesthetics and Ethics (Cambridge University
Press 1998).
6. See “Art, Narrative and Morality” for further argumentation along these lines.
7. I am not sure that moderate autonomism is explicitly represented in the literature. I have
come to construct it as a logically possible position because something like it was a com-
mon manoeuvre with which critics confronted me upon hearing the previous arguments
in this essay.
8. Aristotle, Poetics, in Jonathan Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (Princeton:
Princeton U.P., 1984), vol. II, p. 2325.
9. David Hume,“Of the Standard of Taste,” in John W. Lenz (ed.), Of the Standard of Taste and
Other Essays (Indianapolis:The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1965), pp. 23“24.
10. See Kendall Walton, “Morals in Fictions and Fictional Morality,” in The Aristotelian Society,
Supplementary Volume LXVIII, pp. 27“50.
11. For a more powerful as well as a more elegant argument along these lines, see Berys Gaut,“The
Ethical Criticism of Art,” in Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Aesthetics and Ethics. Gaut delivered this arti-
cle as a talk at the 1994 national meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics.
12. Earlier versions of this essay were delivered as lectures at Columbia University, Northern
Illinois University, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I would like to thank those
432 NOTES

audiences for their attentive criticisms. Alex Neill, Kendall Walton, Sally Banes, and Berys
Gaut have also discussed these issues with me. I have profited from the comments of all
these critics.Whatever inadequacies remain in my position are my own fault, not theirs.

S I M U L AT I O N , E M O T I O N S , MORALITY
AND

1. See Gregory Currie, “The Moral Psychology of Fiction,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy
73.2 (June 1995): 250“59; and Gregory Currie, “Imagination and Simulation: Aesthetics
Meets Cognitive Science,” Mental Simulations, ed. Martin Davies and Tony Stone (Oxford:
Blackwell, 1995) 151“69. Susan Feagin also endorses the notion of simulation in her book
Reading With Feeling (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), as does Murray Smith in
Engaging Characters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).
2. See especially Robert Gordon, “Folk Psychology as Simulation,” Folk Psychology, ed. Mar-
tin Davies and Tony Stone (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995) 60“73; Robert Gordon,“Simulation
Without Introspection or Inference from Me to You,” Mental Simulations 53“67; Alvin
Goldman, “Empathy, Mind and Morals,” Mental Simulations 185“208.These books contain
a wealth of information about simulation theory, including arguments for and against.
Robert Gordon also discusses simulation in his book The Structure of Emotions: Investigations
in Cognitive Psychology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987) 149“55.
3. Currie,“The Moral Psychology of Fiction” 257.
4. Such a theory of the relevance of literature to moral learning, sans the apparatus of simula-
tion, can also be found in Dorothy Walsh, Literature and Knowledge (Middletown, CT:Wes-
leyan University Press, 1969); Catherine Wilson, “Literature and Knowledge,” Philosophy
58.226 (Oct., 1983); Frank Palmer, Literature and Moral Understanding: A Philosophical Essay
on Ethics,Aesthetics, Education and Culture (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992); and Roger Scru-
ton, Art and Imagination: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind (London: Routledge, 1974). In
contrast to propositionalism “ which emphasizes knowing-that “ these authors stress a form
of knowledge by acquaintance “ that is, knowing-what-it-would-be-like. What contemporary
simulation theorists do “ it seems to me “ is to supply the psychological mechanism that
makes this possible.
5. Arthur Conan Doyle, “Musgrave Ritual,” The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories (Lon-
don: John Murray, 1928) 396“417; 413.
6. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (London: Macmillan,
1953) 336.
7. Ruth Millikan, Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories (Cambridge, MA: MIT
Press, 1984).
8. Currie,“The Moral Psychology of Fiction” 256.
9. Currie,“The Moral Psychology of Fiction” 257.
10. Currie,“The Moral Psychology of Fiction” 258.
11. See, for example, Stephen Stich and Shaun Nichols,“Folk Psychology: Simulation or Tacit
Theory,” Folk Psychology 123“58; and Stephen Stich and Shaun Nichols,“Second Thoughts
on Simulation,” Mental Simulation 87“108. Both these volumes also contain answers to
Stich and Nichols, as well as further rebuttals and defenses of simulation theory.
12. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, H. Hill Goldsmith, and Rachel R.W. Robertson,“Do Readers
Mentally Represent Characters™ Emotional States?” Cognition and Emotion 6.2 (1992):
89“111.
13. D.S. Miall, “Beyond the Schema Given: Affective Comprehension of Literary Narratives,”
Cognition and Emotion 3 (1989): 55“78. Miall is discussed in Gernsbacher et al. 109.
14. Richard Wollheim, On Art and the Mind (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974) 59.
15. Richard Gerrig and Deborah Prentice, “Notes on Audience Response,” Post-Theory:
Reconstructing Film Studies, ed. David Bordwell and No«l Carroll (Madison: University of
Wisconsin Press, 1996) 388“403.
NOTES 433

16. Moreover, in such a case, is it likely that if we used ourselves as simulators, we would
predict that she would take the plunge. Wouldn™t we predict that she would surrender?
Wouldn™t we?
17. In No«l Carroll,“Toward a Theory of Point-of-View Editing,” in my Theorizing the Mov-
ing Image (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), I have argued that there is com-
pelling psychological evidence to the effect that the recognition of certain basic emotions
on the basis of facial expressions may be an innate capacity. It is not at all clear that when I
recognize a picture of a face etched in the characteristic contours of fear that I am simulat-
ing. For if I am just shown the picture of a face, I really don™t have enough of the charac-
ter™s situation at my disposal to know which of his beliefs, desires, and so on to run off-line.
And yet I am able to identify his mental state accurately.
18. Here it might be suggested that recognition just is simulation. But I suspect that this begs the
question. Moreover, I think that we need to postulate some capacity of recognition that is inde-
pendent of simulation. It can™t be simulation all the way down. For simulation would appear to
require powers of recognition in order to get off the ground. For example, suppose I wanted to
simulate the state of someone who is embarrassed by being in the presence of someone else
who is suffering an intense state of humiliation.Wouldn™t I have to take on board the first per-
son™s recognition that the second person is humiliated? Simulators require the beliefs of the
simulatee, and some of those beliefs must often be of the nature of recognitions.The possibility
that everything is a matter of simulations nested in simulations is too baroque for my sensibili-
ties, unless some compelling reason can be found to force us to postulate it.
19. That we are able to recognize emotions on the basis of facial displays indicates that it can-
not be the case that it is always simulation all the way down. For the photos that psycholo-
gists like Ekman have used to elicit these responses are simply photos of faces.They are not
photos of bodies nor of the situations in which characters find themselves.Thus the percip-
ient does not have enough information to simulate what the person in the photo is believ-
ing and feeling.The percipient™s response, then, is based on recognition without simulation.
Thus, with facial expression, it cannot be simulation all the way down.There is a bedrock
of recognition. Simulation then is not a fully comprehensive account of folk psychology.
Nor does it appear to handle every case of emotional detection in mass art. It does not fully
account for the phenomena of point-of-view editing. Of course, there is still a question of
how pervasive simulation really is with respect to fiction in general and mass fiction in par-
ticular. My suggestion is that it is at best very rare. For further discussion of Ekman™s evi-
dence and for my argument regarding point-of-view editing, see No«l Carroll, “Toward a
Theory of Point-of-View Editing,” in my Theorizing the Moving Image.
20. Also there is a question about how much prediction actually goes on in following a
narrative.When a character is surrounded by the villains, are we predicting what he will
do, or waiting to see what he will do? Also, it seems to me that when we follow a nar-
rative, we more often than not are keeping track of possible future lines of action “ for
example, will she be captured or not “ rather than making exact predictions about the
outcomes of earlier events, since the later events in the narrative are generally so under-
determined by the previous events in the story that precise predictions are out of place.
And, of course, sometimes we know what will happen next, because either the narrator
or the characters tell us, thereby obviating the need for our own predictions. Prediction,
that is, may not be a general model of what we usually do when following narratives.
Thus, if prediction is what makes simulation theory attractive to philosophers of mind,
it may be of little applicability in aesthetics, since following narratives to a large extent
does not call for prediction. For further argumentation about the unimportance of pre-
diction for narratives, see No«l Carroll, “On the Narrative Connection,” New Perspec-
tives on Narrative Perspective, ed. by Will van Peer and Seymour Chatman (Albany: State
University of New York Press, forthcoming).
21. No«l Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror (New York: Routledge, 1991) 95“96.
434 NOTES

22. For further argumentation against simulation theory and for an alternative account of our
emotional and moral engagement with fiction, see No«l Carroll, A Philosophy of Mass Art
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) chapters 4 and 5.

O N JOKES
1. For examples of incongruity theories, see: D. H. Monro, Argument of Laughter (Melbourne,
1951); Marie Collins Swabey, Comic Laughter: A Philosophical Essay (New Haven, Conn.,
1961); John Morreall, Taking Laughter Seriously (Albany, N.Y., 1983); John Morreall, “Funny
Ha-Ha, Funny Strange and Other Reactions to Incongruity,” in The Philosophy of Laughter and
Humor, edited by John Morreall (Albany, N.Y., 1987); Michael Clark, “Humour and Incon-
gruity,” in Philosophy 45 (1970); Mike Martin, “Humour and the Aesthetic Enjoyment of
Incongruities,” in British Journal of Aesthetics 23, no. 1 (Winter 1983); Michael Clark,“Humour,
Laughter and the Structure of Thought,” in British Journal of Aesthetics 27, no. 3 (Summer
1987). Early modern examples of incongruity theories can be found in Francis Hutcheson™s
Reflections Upon Laughter, and Remarks Upon “The Fable of the Bees” (Glasgow, 1750) and James
Beattie™s “An Essay on Laughter and Ludicrous Composition,” in his Essays on Poetry and
Music (Edinburgh, 1778).William Hazlitt™s Lectures on the English Comic Writers (London: 1885)
and Søren Kierkegaard™s Concluding Unscientific Postscript, translated by David F. Swenson and
Walter Lowire (Princeton, N.J.: 1941) also advance incongruity theories. John Morreall main-
tains as well that the rudiments of an incongruity theory are suggested by Aristotle in his
Rhetoric (3,2); see Morreall™s The Philosophy of Laughter and Humor, p. 14.
2. Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Idea, translated by R. B. Haldane and John
Kemp (London, 1907), supplement to Book I: chap. 8,“On the Theory of the Ludicrous.”
3. My discussion in this section focuses on Sigmund Freud™s Jokes and their Relation to the
Unconscious, translated and edited by John Strachey (New York, 1960). In his essay “Humor,”
Freud further discusses the differences between jokes and humor, attributing to the former
the aim of sheer gratification and to the latter the aim of evading suffering. I will not be
dealing with these distinctions in my discussion here. Freud™s essay “Humor” originally
appeared in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 9 (1928).
4. Other examples of release/relief theories include: Herbert Spencer, “The physiology of
laughter,” Macmillan™s Magazine I (1860); Theodore Lipps, Komic und Humor (Hamburg,
1898); J. C. Gregory, The Nature of Laughter (London, 1924).
5. Freud, Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, 88.
6. Though unacknowledged by Freud, Bergson also hypothesized a connection between
dreams and comedy. See Henri Bergson, Laughter in Comedy, edited by Wylie Sypher (Bal-
timore, Md., 1984), 177“87.
7. Freud, Jokes, 127.
8. Ibid., 170.
9. If this counterexample is rejected, an alternative approach would be to consider the overlap
between Freud™s formulas for jokes and his characterization of the uncanny.When the cri-
teria for the uncanny is spelt out, uncanny phenomena bear an unnerving structural affin-
ity to jokes (in the Freudian dispensation). See Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny,” in Studies
in Parapsychology, edited by Philip Rieff (New York, 1966).
10. It may seem strange to say that Freud™s theory of jokes is not sensitive to discursive struc-
ture since chapter 2 (“The Technique of Jokes”) is a rather compendious inventory of
structure. However, these structures are not unique or even semi-unique to jokes.The kind
of discursive structure that I have in mind above will be explicated in the next section of
this essay.
11. Derived from Victor Raskin, Semantic Mechanisms of Humor (Dordrecht, 1985), p. 252.
12. The argument in the preceding paragraph rides on showing that the kind of material that
Freud counts as comic, in contradistinction to what he counts as a joke, can be formatted as
NOTES 435

what we regard as a joke in everyday speech quite easily. Similarly, I think that the kind of
anecdote that dissipates emotion, which Freud takes as the hallmark of the humorous, can
also be rewritten in a joke structure with no loss of effect.
I should also note that Freud also distinguishes jokes, the comic, and the humorous in
terms of the size of the respective audiences required to appreciate them. Defenders of
Freud might want to block my counterexamples by excluding them through reference to
this dimension of differentiation. I have not developed a defense against this line of coun-
terattack since I think it would take us too far afield in an essay of this scope. However, for
the record, I should say that I find Freud™s speculations about the size of audiences (e.g.,
Jokes, 143:“no one can be content with having made a joke for himself alone”) thoroughly
unsubstantiated and unpersuasive.
13. Derived from Harvey Mindess, Laughter and Liberation (Los Angeles, 1971), 133.
14. The restructuring aspect of joke interpretation is emphasized by Gestalt theorists of
humor. And, though I do not agree with all their claims about the ways in which this
should be incorporated in a theory of jokes, I do think that the reconstructing process
that they point to provides some support for calling what the listener does in response
to a joke “an interpretation.” For Gestalt theories of humor, see: Norman Maier, “A
Gestalt Theory of Humor,” British Journal of Psychology no. 23 (1932); Gregory Bateson,
“The role of humor in human communication,” in Cybernetics, edited by H. von Foer-
ster (New York, 1953); and P. A. Schiller, “A configurational theory of puzzles and
jokes,” Journal of Genetic Psychology 18 (1938).
15. Annette Barnes, On Interpretation (New York, 1988), chaps. 2 and 3.Though I am not sure
that Barnes™s claims about nonobviousness are perfectly accurate for the case of literary
interpretation, I do think that they pertain to joke interpretation.
16. Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgment, translated by James Creed Meredith (Oxford,
1982), section 54, p. 199.
17. Daniel Dennett appears to allow that the interpretation here might be some sort of mental,
visual representation. See Daniel Dennett, The Intentional Stance (Cambridge, Mass., 1987),
76“77.
18. Comic timing can also be important as a means of highlighting the puzzling aspect of the
punch line.That is, the pause before delivering the punch line is a way of dramatizing it.
19. For other examples of the two-stage view, see: Jerry M. Suls, “A Two-Stage Model for the
Appreciation of Jokes and Cartoons, An Information-Processing Analysis,” in The Psychol-
ogy of Humor, edited by Jeffrey Goldstein and Paul McGhee (New York, 1972); Michael
Mulkay, On Humor (New York, 1988); J. M.Willman, “An Analysis of Humor and Laugh-
ter,” American Journal of Psychology 53 (1940).Also, the Gestalt psychologists cited previously
may be thought of as contributing to the development of the two-stage model.
20. For information on surprise and configurational theories, see Patricia Keith-Spiegel,“Early
Conceptions of Humor:Varieties and Issues,” in The Psychology of Humor.
21. The joke and the most general sort of sight gag seem typically distinguishable in this way;
but there is a sort of quasi-visual humor that is more akin to the joke, namely, cartoons with
captions.The latter, I think, is the closest relation to the joke among comic genres, though,
of course, it is not exclusively a matter of verbal discourse.
22. Suls,“Two-Stage Model for the Appreciation of Jokes,” 83.
23. Loose talk of “incongruity” and “congruity” in comic theory can generate a great deal of
confusion. For example, Roger Scruton attacks Michael Clark™s incongruity theory of
humor (cited previously) on the grounds that caricatures involve “congruity” rather than
“incongruity.” But, of course, even if caricatures are apt or fitting, they also involve some

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