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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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ORIGINAL

The paradox of horror

6 minutes

Why do audiences thrill to the negative emotions of horror fiction?

There are entire industries dedicated to delivering frights, thrills and gross-outs. So why do audiences line up and pay up in droves to experience horror and disgust – two emotions almost universally thought of as negative? In this interview, Noël Carroll, distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), dissects why horror fiction gets its hooks so deeply into audiences despite putting them in states of discomfort.

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Editor: Adam D'Arpino

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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