The idea of a “dramatic instinct” is routed from its nineteenth-century roots in early childhood education and child study psychology through early twentieth-century theatre education. This historically contextualized routing suggests the functional purposes of pretense for human freedom, self-preservation, and survival. Theatre scholars may influence the discipline of cognitive psychology by employing these philosophical and epistemological theories to unpack the role of empathy in aesthetic experiences with today’s spectators.
This is an unpublished manuscript. Please ask Jeanne Klein for permission to quote or cite.
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