Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2017

Department 1



Horror is a relatively new emotion. It is based on the subversion of a scientific account of the world. Therefore, it could not have existed prior to the establishment of such an account. Furthermore, it is unique because it can only be experienced through a fictional medium, as only a fictional medium allows the violation of the scientific, or natural, account of the world. There are several schools of thought that attempt to explain the phenomenon of fictional emotions, but 'irrationality' appears to be the most in touch with the scientific understanding of how the brain processes fictional emotions. Ultimately, horror is based on defamiliarization, or ostranenie, which is the essence of all art.


Written for PHIL 331: Emotion.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.