Download Between Literature and Science: Poe, Lem, and Explorations by Peter Swirski PDF

By Peter Swirski

Through shut research of Eureka and The Purloined Letter, Swirski evaluates Poe's epistemological theses within the gentle of up to date philosophy of technological know-how and offers literary interpretation as a cooperative online game performed via the writer and reader, thereby illuminating how we learn fiction. The research of Poe's little-studied Eureka presents the foundation for his dialogue of Lem's critique of clinical reductionism and futurological forecasts. Drawing on his personal interviews with Lem in addition to research of his works, Swirski considers the author's situations regarding desktops able to inventive acts and discusses their socio-cultural implications. His research results in daring arguments in regards to the nature of literature and its relation to a vast diversity of alternative disciplines.

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Additional info for Between Literature and Science: Poe, Lem, and Explorations in Aesthetics, Cognitive Science, and Literary Knowledge

Sample text

It is thus true in his fiction and true in our world that (in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky) there are i“ mmense rivers as black as ebony, swarming with fish that had no eyes” ( ) or that one can make a“ deep darkness out of two brilliant lights” ( ) using light-wave superposition. However, propositions can also be true in the story and simply not true. It is true in Poe’s fiction that Scheherazade recounts Sinbad’s adventures, but not true that either character ever existed in reality. Truth is thus one thing, and truth in fiction another.

Poe is clearly aware of problems surrounding the interpretation of truth in fiction. In fact, the entire story is premised on the recognition of the diverse pragmatic factors that may influence interpretation. It would be an exaggeration to claim that S“ cheherazade” provides a specific answer to the problem, but Poe’s brilliant manipulation of the conventions of realism and fantasy points towards a plausible solution. Embedded in a mocking framework of the Arabian Nights, S“ cheherazade” is a meta-fictional account of Sinbad’s marvellous journey through the natural and scientific wonders of nineteenth-century C ‘ ockneigh’-land.

Truth is thus one thing, and truth in fiction another. They can, but need not, correspond to each other. Distinct as they are, however, there have been attempts to relate truth and fictional truth to each other.  Although a fictional proposition need not be true in our world, it could be true in a possible world, it is held. However, the equation of fictional w “ orlds” and possible ones fails for the following reasons:  Unlike fictional worlds, possible worlds are always in principle determinate with respect to truth.

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