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Constructed worlds

posthumanism in film, television and other cosmopoietic media

Ivan Callus

pp. 182-191

Possible worlds theory recognizes that what starts to form once a world is postulated with conditions different to the actual is the apprehensibility of a different (meta)physics. Situations implausible in the actual world could there take on outline and cohere, in keeping, as Ruth Ronen explains, with possible worlds providing "a philosophical explanatory framework that pertains to the problem of fiction". They overturn "the long philosophical tradition, from Plato to Russell" that skirts fiction, because this "has been viewed (…) as a sequence of propositions devoid of a truth value". Possible worlds thereby rehabilitate fiction as "part of a larger context of discourses that do not refer to the way things actually are in the world" (Ronen 1994, 6–7). This bears out the adjustment possible worlds theory brings to "theories of fictionality" based on "the assumption that there is only one legitimate universe of discourse (domain or reference), the actual world" (Doležel 1998, 2). The possibilities in fictional worlds instead occasion a "pragmatics of pretense" (11), intuiting that "the one-world model is not a propitious ground for fictional semantics' (5) and endorsing "uncountable possible, nonactualized worlds' (13). This multiplicity can only grow, for "[t]he universe of possible worlds is constantly expanding and diversifying thanks to the incessant world-constructing activity of human minds and hands' (ix).

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9781137430328_19

Full citation:

Callus, I. (2015)., Constructed worlds: posthumanism in film, television and other cosmopoietic media, in M. Hauskeller, T. D. Philbeck & C. D. Carbonell (eds.), The Palgrave handbook of posthumanism in film and television, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 182-191.

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