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An empirical investigation of guilty pleasures

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Published in Philosophical Psychology. 2019, p. 1-27
Abstract In everyday language, the expression ‘guilty pleasure’ refers to instances where one feels bad about enjoying a particular artwork. Thus, one’s experience of guilty pleasure seems to involve the feeling that one should not enjoy this particular artwork and, by implication, the belief that there are norms according to which some aesthetic responses are more appropriate than others. One natural assumption would be that these norms are first and foremost aesthetic norms. However, this suggestion runs directly against recent findings in experimental philosophy, according to which most people deny the existence of aesthetic norms. Through three studies, we investigated people’s experiences of guilty pleasures and the norms that underlay these experiences. We tentatively conclude that guilty pleasures are more often connected to one’s personal norms and social expectations than to properly aesthetic norms.
Keywords Experimental philosophyAesthetic normativityEmotionsGuilty pleasures
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Affective sciences
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GOFFIN, Kris, COVA, Florian. An empirical investigation of guilty pleasures. In: Philosophical Psychology, 2019, p. 1-27. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:121782

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Deposited on : 2019-08-22

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