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    Is empathy the end of sentimentality?

    Burdett, Carolyn (2011) Is empathy the end of sentimentality? Journal of Victorian Culture 16 (2), pp. 259-274. ISSN 1355-5502.

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    By the end of the century, and under pressure from new scientific theories of minds and emotions, the languages in which the Victorians understood the relationship between inner feeling and moral action came under great pressure. At the same time, the established association between aesthetic and moral value was being challenged by aestheticism's espousal of ‘art for art's sake’. This essay examines one very distinctive response to these issues: Vernon Lee's development of the concept of ‘empathy’. Lee offers empathy as a scientifically verifiable process which explains why beauty matters to us. She also seeks to use it to mediate a new position capable of acknowledging the power of aestheticism's critique of Victorian moralism, while re-establishing moral action as central to aesthetic experience.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Research Centres and Institutes: Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for
    Depositing User: Carolyn Burdett
    Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2012 12:27
    Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 01:40


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