6. Epistemics of the Virtual
The lessons learned throughout this book are combined in this chapter and integrated into a semi-formal process model of how the epistemics of the virtual work. This framework accounts for the fiction-reality confusion, attribution of truth, perceived realism, and metaphor as well as the experiential side of dealing with virtual people (e.g., ethical behavior). Its purpose is not only to improve our understanding of fiction with a sophisticated framework of analysis but also to lay the foundation for formal models to equip our virtual counterparts with so that everybody stays on the same page when holding the virtual against the actual. This is the book’s final chapter and essentially an annotation of the final chart. To avoid repetition, I put more effort in constructing the chart than in its textual explanation, which is actually a summary of the book as a whole.