Narrative, emotion, and insight



Publication Details

Hutto, D. (2012). Narrative, emotion, and insight. Mind: a quarterly review of philosophy, 121 (484), 1052-1055.


Some artistic narratives are a source of valuable and bona fide philosophical insights. Some narrative artwork may even confirm the claims they advance. Sometimes engaging with artistic narratives puts us in a position to gain personal insights. In many cases our dealings with well-crafted narrative works of art—of various literary, dramatic, and musical kinds—enables us to achieve these philosophical and personal goods by tapping into, directing, and educating our emotions and, sometimes, our higher-order capacities for reflecting on our emotions. All of this can be so even though it is true—as many philosophers have been at pains to advertise—that certain fictionalizing tendencies that arise when thinking of our lives in overly literary ways, presents serious risks and dangers.

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