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Jessé Antunes Torres

Jessé Antunes Torres is a Ph.D. candidate in Language Sciences at the Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina (UNISUL), under the advisorship of Prof. Ana Carolina Cernicchiaro. The focus of his research is science fiction in the work of Vilém Flusser. He was granted a doctoral scholarship by the Comissão de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). Torres holds a Master of Arts degree in Language Sciences (UNISUL), with a dissertation on Flusser’s philosophical fiction, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). He was awarded the prize Rumos Jornalismo Cultural 2009-2010 from the Instituto Itaú Cultural. He lives in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Articles of Jessé Antunes Torres

An Improbable Science Fiction

The essay explores Flusser’s thoughts on both the literary genre of science fiction, as understood by Suvin and Jameson, and the employment of fiction in science, an idea that can be traced back to Vaihinger’s scientific fictions. Texts such as The History of the Devil, “O bicho de sete cabeças” [The seven-headed beast], and “Science Fiction” are analyzed and compared, attentive to the philosophic and scientific insights informing them. Flusser believed most science fiction is banal (The History of the Devil) and, following information theory, proposed the genre should turn towards the possible, yet unlikely. He believed science fiction could be more than a mere empty diversion, a “turning aside from the original course”, and could actually become a window for us to see our future (“O bicho de sete cabeças”). In “Science Fiction”, he frames his topic more as a gray zone between science and imagination than as a literary genre. Fiction as epistemology. In this understanding of the term, the philosopher also links science fiction with the question of technical images, for he believes we are more likely to find it in synthetic images and computer algorithms than in texts. The present essay goes on to throw some light on the relationship between science fiction and real science, as well as between science fiction and the future. The impossibility of predicting the future is identified as a question pertinent to both science fiction and philosophy of science, and is explored through works of Hume, Meillassoux, Taleb, Bergson, and Berardi.

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