Alternate Realities: The Phenomenological Experience of Stories, is Jamie’s paper for Royal Holloway University’s PHD conference on the topic of Reality. Below you can read the paper’s introduction, get in touch for the full document.
The reality we experience in our day-to-day lives is a much-theorised topic, one that human beings have troubled over for thousands of years. However, the relatively recent philosophical movement of Phenomenology seeks to strip away this cloud of argument and counter-argument, and return to the pure phenomena itself, before the intervention of over-theorisation. In this paper I will look at three phenomenological principles regarding reality, and consider how a particularly engrossing narrative affects these principles.
From a phenomenological standpoint our Being-in-the-World, our Intentional Arc and our Passive Synthesis of Time are three inter-woven concepts that, taken together, achieve a compelling account of the way we experience reality. However, under the influence of a narrative, these key components become grounded in the world that the artist has created. Thus, our lived reality shifts entirely. Most people will experience this, only becoming aware of it upon surfacing from a particularly immersive story. For example, we leave the theatre or put down the book, and for a brief moment we feel distant as the components of our reality re-orientate.
I begin with Being-in-the-World…
If you are interested in having Jamie deliver this paper in full at an event and lead a Q&A discussion on the topic, please use the contact form here.