Nature between fact and fiction: A note on virtual reality

  • Svend Erik Larsen Department of Comparative Literature, Aarhus University, Langelandsgate 139, DK-8000 Aarhus C


The paper places the trendy notion of virtuality and virtual reality in a conceptual and historical context that makes it useful in a semiotic perspective. Virtuality is connected with the classical notion of fictionality, in its meaning of both invention and deception. Historically an active, a passive, and a neutral version of the concept can be distinguished. The notion is reinterpreted as a variant of the semiotic processes of deixis. In relation to nature - scenarios, prognoses, hypotheses, etc. - virtuality is seen as a means of anchoring the human subject in nature instead of constructing a nonreal universe separated from it.


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How to Cite
Larsen, S. E. (2001). Nature between fact and fiction: A note on virtual reality. Sign Systems Studies, 29(1), 187-202.