Dream worlds and cyberspace : intersubjective tertiary reality in fantasy and science fiction

  • What is real? Or rather, is that which we perceive with our senses "real", in the sense that it objectively exists? This question has kept philosophy and literature busy for centuries. An obvious answer is mirrored by language: The German verb "Wissen" for instance, as well as the English "to wit", derive from Proto-Germanic *witanan, "to have seen": We know that which we have seen. Equivalent verbs in Romanic languages derive from Latin "sapere", "to taste, have taste". Sensory input determines our knowledge of the world - a practical truth proven also in scientific experiments. For Plato, of course, it wasn't so simple. In his allegory of the cave, he shows that "to see" doesn't necessarily mean "to know" in the sense of "to have a correct view of objective reality". His cave dwellers perceive only shadows of artificial objects on a wall, while the true light of reality remains outside, unseen and unknown. Their knowledge of "the world" is an illusion, a fiction existing only in their (and the fiction-makers') heads – a shared sensory experience misleading to a limited, distorted and conventional view of reality. Because we're bound to the physical world by the limitations of our bodies, sensory experience is no valid proof for its ultimate reality.

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Author:Anja Stürzer
Parent Title (German):Komparatistik online : komparatistische Internet-Zeitschrift / Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Place of publication:Gießen
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2013
Year of first Publication:2013
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/12/29
GND Keyword:Wirklichkeit; Virtuelle Realität; Realität <Begriff>
Page Number:14
First Page:167
Last Page:180
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
BDSL-Klassifikation:03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft / BDSL-Klassifikation: 03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.07.00 Ästhetik
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Komparatistik online : komparatistische Internet-Zeitschrift / Komparatistik online 2013 : Weltentwürfe des Fantastischen ; Erzählen - Schreiben - Spielen
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht