Climate Change, Philosophy, and Fiction

In Pellegrino Gianfranco & Marcello Di Paola (eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Climate Change. Springer Nature. pp. 503-523 (2023)
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Abstract

This chapter addresses fictional narratives as a specific kind of fiction capable of eliciting particular effects on their recipients. The first section of the chapter considers the status of climate fiction (cli-fi) as a literary genre, and identifies a set of standard properties that qualify most works in the category. The second section addresses the specific fictional engagement prompted by cli-fi and discusses its relationship with thought experiments. The third section examines, from a psychological angle, whether and how climate narratives can induce changes in the recipients’ beliefs and attitudes toward environmental issues. The chapter closes by listing some of the research questions raised by cli-fi that still await exploration. In the conclusion, it is tentatively suggested that, although the experience of consuming cli-fi will not change the planet, it might nonetheless heighten recipients’ concerns and willingness to take action against climate change.

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