By way of attempting to explain comic pleasure, this paper proposes an outline for an inclusive theory of comedy -- 'inclusive' in the sense of amalgamating various past contributions that tend to be thought of as mutually exclusive. More specifically, this essay will (a) propose a teleological definition of comedy, (b) integrate seemingly competing accounts of laughter into a relatively unified explanation, (c) clarify the connection between laughter and comedy, (d) defend a flexible ontology of comic response that enables the coexistence of genuinely competing paradigms of the mind (which, in turn, underlie seemingly competing theories of comic reception), and (e) will suggest how comic pleasure forms an indispensable addition to a theory of comedy.
An essay on dramatic acting with regards to unethical conduct on stage is presented. It explores how acting provokes ethical questions despite being viewed as an unproblematic and laudable art form. It charts the nature and scope of ethical issues in which the actor operates and discusses two responses to the questions. The author suggests that value-related ambiguity can be a way through which the uniqueness of acting as a performing art can be understood.
The article examines centrality of voice to acting, the relation of voice to existential amplification and the role of actor's voice in seven dimensions of the relationship between character and thought. It is stated that striking, memorable acting is bound with effects created by modifications in the actor's voice. Royal Shakespeare Company voice trainer Cicely Berry stated that young actors shun intense work on their voices since it threatens the performer with artificiality and loss of self.
The essay discusses moral dimensions of literary descriptions of animals. Topics covered include literary presentations of slaughter, of humans looking at animals (and vice versa), and of forms of attachment between humans and companion animals. Throughout, the essay aims to connect the portrayal of animals in literature with ongoing work in aesthetics on the moral contributions of literary works.
Dramatic acting is often loosely associated with the freedom to be someone else. This essay presents a philosophical exploration of this idea. It suggests that dramatic acting is a form of what it calls 'existential amplification,' a fictional actualization of usually unavailable possibilities that partly constitute the self (under one of the self's renderings). Acting is able to fascinate its practitioners and its audiences because it involves such self-expansion. The essay then distinguishs the uniqueness of this kind of amplification from other forms of living more through art or literature. It presents an elaborate comparison between acting (or responding to acting) and reading literary works (or engaging with literary characters); it also defends a version of the distinction between acting and pretending. Finally, the essay asks whether some forms of acting are morally objectionable, given its analysis of acting's metaphysical structure.