Worlds of Works of Art
Wolterstorff (Nicholas P.)
Source: Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 35, No. 2. (Winter, 1976), pp. 121-132
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    I call the story of a literary of dramatic or cinematic work, the situation of a lyric poem, and the scene represented by a work of visual art, the "world" of the work. In this essay I inquire into the nature of such worlds, concluding that they are a certain sort of state of affairs. I discuss in what ways these worlds are different from our actual world, and from the possible worlds of our contemporary modal logicians1. And I spend the bulk of the essay formulating the principles which are to be used to determine what is included within the world of a given work of art. Especially "impossible" worlds introduce important complications.

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