Paradox of fiction
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The paradox of fiction is a philosophical problem about how people can experience strong emotions from purely fictional things, such as art, literature and imagination. The paradox draws attention to an everyday issue of how people are moved by things which, in many ways, do not really exist. Although, the ontology of fictional things in general has been discussed in philosophy since Plato, it was first suggested by Colin Radford and Michael Weston in 1975. After Radford & Weston's original paper they and others have continued the discussion giving the problem both slightly differing formulations as well as different solutions.