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postgraduate thesis: Outrageous insights : the ethical value of transgressive literature

TitleOutrageous insights : the ethical value of transgressive literature
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ulas, E.. (2014). Outrageous insights : the ethical value of transgressive literature. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435675
AbstractThe aim of this thesis is to explore the ethical value of literature that I will call ‘transgressive’. That is, literature which depicts morally condemnable characters and their behavior while adopting a perspective that does not condemn them. When readers engage imaginatively with this kind of literature, responding emotionally as solicited by the text, they may end up caring for these morally condemnable characters, and thus be forced to go beyond their habitual moral attitudes. This can be experienced by many readers when reading Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov, In Cold Blood (1966) by Truman Capote, and A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess, the works that are the focus of this thesis. The unexpected emotional responses of care, such as empathic feelings, sympathy, or compassion, that may appear as one engages with such transgressive novels can be ethically valuable as one transcends, in the fictive world, one’s often limiting norms of acceptability and expectations, and thus begins to understand and learn about so-called alien minds. Bridging the gap between fiction and reality, reading can become a transformative experience as the insight gained in a novel can impact one’s views and judgments in real life. Through imagination, one’s moral realm can be enhanced and refined to possibly train tolerance towards all aspects of humanity, even the most puzzling and disturbing ones. Importantly, by connecting us with people who at first seem not only separated but opposed to us in significant ways, fiction can be a place to question our own dangerous capacity to think, judge, and act in morally outrageous ways.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectLiterature and morals
Dept/ProgramPhilosophy
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209494

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorUlas, Ekin-
dc.date.accessioned2015-04-23T23:10:53Z-
dc.date.available2015-04-23T23:10:53Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationUlas, E.. (2014). Outrageous insights : the ethical value of transgressive literature. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435675-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209494-
dc.description.abstractThe aim of this thesis is to explore the ethical value of literature that I will call ‘transgressive’. That is, literature which depicts morally condemnable characters and their behavior while adopting a perspective that does not condemn them. When readers engage imaginatively with this kind of literature, responding emotionally as solicited by the text, they may end up caring for these morally condemnable characters, and thus be forced to go beyond their habitual moral attitudes. This can be experienced by many readers when reading Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov, In Cold Blood (1966) by Truman Capote, and A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess, the works that are the focus of this thesis. The unexpected emotional responses of care, such as empathic feelings, sympathy, or compassion, that may appear as one engages with such transgressive novels can be ethically valuable as one transcends, in the fictive world, one’s often limiting norms of acceptability and expectations, and thus begins to understand and learn about so-called alien minds. Bridging the gap between fiction and reality, reading can become a transformative experience as the insight gained in a novel can impact one’s views and judgments in real life. Through imagination, one’s moral realm can be enhanced and refined to possibly train tolerance towards all aspects of humanity, even the most puzzling and disturbing ones. Importantly, by connecting us with people who at first seem not only separated but opposed to us in significant ways, fiction can be a place to question our own dangerous capacity to think, judge, and act in morally outrageous ways.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshLiterature and morals-
dc.titleOutrageous insights : the ethical value of transgressive literature-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5435675-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePhilosophy-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5435675-

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