The Other in Science Fiction as a Problem for Social Theory

Результат исследований: Научные публикации в периодических изданияхстатьярецензирование


The paper discusses science fiction literature in its relation to some aspects of the socio-anthropological problem, such as the representation of the Other. Given the diversity of sci-fi genres, a researcher always deals either with the direct representation of the Other (a creature different from an existing human being), or with its indirect, mediated form when the Other, in the original sense of this term, is revealed to the reader or viewer through the optics of some Other World. The article describes two modes of representing the Other by sci-fi literature, conventionally designated as scientist and anti-anthropic. The scientist representation constructs exclusively-rational premises for the relationship with the Other. Edmund Husserl’s concept of truth, which is the same for humans, non-humans, angels, and gods, can be considered as its historical and philosophical correlate. The anti-anthropic representation, which is more attractive to sci-fi authors, has its origins in the experience of the “disenchantment” of the world characteristic of modern man, especially in the tragic feeling of incommensurability of a finite human existence and the infinity of the cosmic abysses. The historical and philosophical correlate of this anti-anthropic representation can be found in Kant’s teaching of a priori cognition forms, which may be different for other thinking beings. The model of an attitude to the Other therefore cannot be based on rational foundations. As a literary example where these two ways of representing the Other are found, we propose the analysis of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, which, on the one hand, offers the fictional extrapolation of the colonization of North America and the inevitable contacts with its indigenous population. On the other hand, The Martian Chronicles depicts a powerful and technologically advanced Martian civilization, which disappears for some unknown reason, or ceases to contact the settlers. The combination of these two ways of representing the Other allows Bradbury to effectively romanticize and mystify the unique historical experience of colonization, thus modifying the Frontier myth.

Язык оригиналаанглийский
Страницы (с-по)61-81
Число страниц21
ЖурналSotsiologicheskoe Obozrenie
Номер выпуска4
СостояниеОпубликовано - 2020

Предметные области Scopus

  • Социальные науки (все)


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