Elizabeth Rose Picciuto
AOS: Philosophy of Mind, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Film
Office: SKN 1122A

My dissertation is titled The Experience of Fiction. It is an examination of the philosophical puzzles that arise when we engage with fictions. I argue that the emotions we feel in response to non-existent objects are indeed genuine cases of emotion. This position, in turn, suggests a response to the paradox of fiction: that we do have emotions for objects in which we do not believe. This is a separate question from whether it is rational to feel such emotions; I suggest it is not, although it depends on ones understanding of rationality. I also discuss the paradox of tragedy, suggesting that this paradox is only apparent it is coherent and rational to enjoy watching negatively emotional art. Indeed, we enjoy fiction for fictions sake, not only for the contents sake. I also discuss the phenomenon of imaginative resistance. I suggest that we do not simply imagine events a fictional world when we engage in fictions. This turns out to have an impact on the solutions to imaginative resistance. My co-advisors are Peter Carruthers and Jerrold Levinson.


"The origins of creativity", co-authored with Peter Carruthers, in E. Paul and S. Kaufman (eds.),The Philosophy of Creativity, Oxford University Press (forthcoming in 2012).

"The pleasures of suppositions" in Philosophical Psychology, Vol. 22, No. 4, (2009), pp. 487-503.

Creativity Explained? Book review of Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving by Robert Arp, co-authored with Peter Carruthers in Evolutionary Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 3 (2008): 427-431.

Currently under review: Blended worlds and imaginative resistance, The paradox of negatively emotional art.

Fall 2016
PHIL140 Contemporary Moral Issues
Spring 2013
PHIL308Q Studies in Contemporary Philosophy; Philosophy of Disability
Fall 2012
PHIL100 Introduction to Philosophy