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The Moral Laboratory By Frank Hakemulder (Utrecht University)

The Moral Laboratory by Frank Hakemulder (Utrecht University)

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Summary

This title examines what we actually know about the effects of literature on the reader. The title applies methods of the social sciences to literary theory, presenting a psychological explanation based on the conception of literature as a moral laboratory.

The Moral Laboratory Summary

The Moral Laboratory: Experiments examining the effects of reading literature on social perception and moral self-concept by Frank Hakemulder (Utrecht University)

The idea that reading literature changes the reader seems as old as literature itself. Through the ages philosophers, writers, and literary scholars have suggested it affects norms, empathic ability, self-concept, beliefs, etc. This book examines what we actually know about these effects. And it finds strong evidence for the old claims. However, it remains unclear what aspects of the reading experience are responsible for these effects. Applying methods of the social sciences to this particular problem of literary theory, this book presents a psychological explanation based upon the conception of literature as a moral laboratory. A series of experiments examines whether imagining oneself in the shoes of characters affects beliefs about what it must be like to be someone else, and whether it affects beliefs about consequences of behavior. The results have implications for the role literature could play in society, for instance, in an alternative for traditional moral education.

Table of Contents

1. 1. Apologies; 2. 2. Changing Readers; 3. 3. A Blueprint for Moral Laboratories; 4. 4. Understanding Others; 5. 5. Moral Self-knowledge; 6. 6. Summary and Conclusion; 7. Appendix; 8. References; 9. Index of names; 10. Index of terms

Additional information

NGR9789027222237
9789027222237
9027222231
The Moral Laboratory: Experiments examining the effects of reading literature on social perception and moral self-concept by Frank Hakemulder (Utrecht University)
New
Hardback
John Benjamins Publishing Co
2000-06-15
205
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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