Silkie, Robot, and Alien : The Interpretation and Analysis of Human and the Otherness in Experimental Silkie Stories.

Thought experiments are traditionally associated with science, they are the hypothetical or theoretical experiments that human can imagine, but are very difficult to carry out due to material limitations. These thought experiments are important because they allow scientists to critique and analyze scenarios that never happen and think through the repercussions. In the same way that thought experiments allow scientist to imagine ‘what if?’ scenario, literature is a form of thought experiment that allow storyteller and the audience to experience unusual scenario with different set of logic, ethics, morality than normal reality (Goldschmidt). This notion of literature as a form of thought experimental are largely connected to the genre of science fiction and fantasy. However, folklore and oral history, which are the predecessor of those two genre are also full fabulation, critical imagination, speculative narratives. Therefore, this paper revisited the Great Silkie of Sule Skerry story with the comparative thought experiment approach developed by the art theorist, Arthur Danto. By experimentally changing the character silkie to other characters (normal seal, normal human, robot, and alien), and analyzing the repercussion of those changes, we can further understand the specific characteristic of the selkie as the “otherness” in the human society and tease out ethical and moral dilemma in the story.

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