Open Access

Phenomenology of Phantasy and Fiction: Some Remarks Towards a Unified Account


I offer an outline of an integrated phenomenological analysis of free fantasy and of fictional worlds. My main concern amounts to stress the scissions entailed in free fantasy and in the consciousness of fictional objects: a scission of the I, and a scission of the experience. Firstly, I offer a somewhat new characterization of the presence of the objects of free fantasy, which disconnects any possible relationship of those objects with a real perception as the leading form of an originally giving consciousness. My leading example is daydream. Secondly, I take the Husserlian analysis of neutralization as a conceptual tool to explain the consciousness of fictional worlds, against a new tendency for interpreting these worlds in light of the concept of “possible world”. The two approaches converge to a twofold characterization of the mode of being of fictions and of the modality of presence of the objects of fantasy.