Why Do We Love the Horror of Halloween? | Philosophy Tube | Summary and Q&A

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October 30, 2015
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Why Do We Love the Horror of Halloween? | Philosophy Tube

TL;DR

We find pleasure in horror because it allows us to explore depictions of things that would normally be repulsive or frightening in a safe and controlled environment.

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Key Insights

  • 😌 The paradox of horror lies in our enjoyment of depictions of things that would typically be unpleasant or frightening.
  • 😱 Pleasure in horror can stem from the knowledge that it is not real, as well as the skillful presentation as part of a narrative.
  • 😱 Curiosity plays a role in our enjoyment of horror, with the satisfaction of questions posed by the horror providing pleasure.
  • 😱 The enjoyment of horror cannot be solely attributed to curiosity, as enjoyment can persist even when familiarity with the plot exists.
  • 😱 Expressing and purging negative emotions or fears may be a factor, but it does not fully explain the enjoyment of horror.
  • 😱 The cognitive and phenomenological response to horror can differ, with negative evaluations still coexisting with enjoyable feelings.
  • 😱 The role of cultural and societal influences in shaping our enjoyment of horror should be explored further.

Transcript

it is very nearly Halloween the time of year to celebrate all things spooky and scary and an opposite time to ask why do we enjoy horror in the philosophy of art there's something called the paradox of horror and it goes like this people enjoy horror horror movies scary games creepypasta whatever but horror contains depictions of things that would ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do we find pleasure in horror despite the depictions of repulsive or frightening things?

We find pleasure in horror because we know it is not real, allowing us to safely explore and experience these emotions without actual danger or harm.

Q: Does the satisfaction of curiosity fully explain why we enjoy horror?

While curiosity plays a role, it is not the sole explanation for our enjoyment of horror. We can still enjoy horror even when familiar with the plot, suggesting there are other factors at play.

Q: Could the enjoyment of horror be linked to expressing and purging negative emotions or fears?

While it is possible that horror allows us to express negative emotions or fears in a socially acceptable way, this explanation does not fully account for the enjoyment of horror, as some fears can persist even after viewing.

Q: How does the cognitive and phenomenological response to horror differ?

The cognitive response involves our evaluation of the horror, often negative due to the repulsive or frightening nature. However, the phenomenological response refers to the feeling itself, which can still be thrilling or enjoyable despite the negative evaluation.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • People enjoy horror despite its depictions of violence or monsters because they know it is not real, which partially explains why we find pleasure in it.

  • David Hume suggests that we enjoy horror because it is skillfully presented as part of a well-structured narrative, which can be applied to horror stories but not all horror experiences.

  • Noël Carroll argues that horror arouses curiosity and pleasure is derived from having that curiosity satisfied by answering questions posed by the horror.

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