Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The triumphs and tribulations of affective fallacy.



"The affective fallacy"

 I'll be honest in proclaiming that Wimsatt and Beardsley's essay on the affective fallacy and what it entails nearly prompted me to drop in the fetal position and assess my intelligence. I'll also come forward in saying that I used an amalgamation of sources in conjunction with the text at hand to formulate my opinions on the subject and to muster up my own formulated definition of what the affective fallacy really is. While the intentional fallacy bludgeoned supposed ignorance in how people flock to the author for ultimate answers, affective fallacy is attributed to the reader's mistake of associating any written work with emotional effect on the reader. Meaning is readily available in the words that are written down, so therefore, meaning can be viewed objectively without any qualms or speculation. By this notion, emotional appeal should be deemed irrelevant. It appears as though affective critics try to explicitly analyze the cognitive as a means of provoking answers rather than letting the overbearing emotive grab the reigns and dictate what's ultimately right and ultimately wrong. "The critic whose formulations lead to the emotive and the critic whose formulations lean to the cognitive will in the long run produce a vastly different sort of criticism" (47).

Although affective critics may be more inclined to be analytical, I feel as though staunch supporters of affective fallacy zombify themselves by displacing emotion as second grade or juvenile in the grand scheme of things. I can almost envision it as a totalitarian way of viewing things for how it lays down the law in literature. Emotive response shouldn't be suppressed as unanswered questions in literature can be reached by taking multiple avenues. I can't argue with the merits and productive value affective fallacy bears, but it definitely drains the color out of subjective appeal. For all I know, I could be interpreting the main points inaccurately. I'm but a jester arguing against a court of esteemed scholars. However, I can't help but to think affective fallacy is synonymous with a "my way, or the high way" approach. As able minded free thinkers, we're entitled to respond to text however we see fit. What may bring one person to tears can lift the spirits of another.

       

If only I had sufficient art skills and picture taking skills to demonstrate what I got out of the reading. I'll have to switch it up come next time by holding a palate in one hand and my mustache in the other while painting away. Essentially, I correlated affective fallacy with a master of ceremonies and his audience. Peeved and disheartened, the conductor holds up a sign reading "it is what it is". This sentiment defuses fluctuating emotions as an argumentative powerhouse in reading. below the center lines, a rabble of heads are captured. Each head signifies a differing response to the text above. Whether I effectively demonstrative the relationship between affective fallacy and audience or not, I just wanted to point out that despite varying interpretation of what is written down, "it is what it is"        

1 comment:

  1. This is a tad confusing: "Although affective critics may be more inclined to be analytical, I feel as though staunch supporters of affective fallacy zombify themselves by displacing emotion as second grade or juvenile in the grand scheme of things." Affective critics would be LESS analytical, and more focused on how they feel; they would fall prey to the affective fallacy. A fallacy is an error, basically, so if you commit the affective fallacy, you make the error of using your own emotions as grounds for determining textual meaning. I think by the end you are on track, but I just wanted to clarify that moment!

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