Kosmopolis 21

Experimental mythologies

Talk

Ted Chiang, Carme Torras, and Toni Pou

The Universe Began as a Puff of Air

  • Friday 18 June, 19.00 - 20.30
  • Pati de les Dones
  • 3 €

When of high quality, literature is a magnificent tool for grappling with the big philosophical questions. The stories of Ted Chiang, one of today’s most acclaimed science fiction writers, are situated precisely here, halfway between speculative fiction and philosophy, between high literature and scientific popularisation. Seen by many people as the heir to Isaac Asimov, Ted Chiang always cooks his stories on a slow fire—with only two collections published in twenty years—and they function as allegories or artifacts for exploring the great philosophical dilemmas of our times, among them bioethics, virtual reality, free will and determinism, time travel, and the uses of artificial intelligence. The film Arrival, for example, explored the paradoxes of a hypothetical alien contact, precisely on the basis of one of his tales, “Story of Your Life”. Ted Chiang will connect with Kosmopolis21 to talk about his latest collection Exhalació (Exhalation — Mai Més / Sexto Piso) and will discuss with the scientist and writer Carme Torras and the journalist Toni Pou the power of science fiction to make amenable and appealing the most complex philosophical premises.

Ted Chiang will participate by videoconference.

This session will also be streamed through the CCCB website.

With the collaboration of