For a Possible Theory of Lie: the Case of the Alternate History

Marco Carmello


The aim of this article is to discuss the logic of the literary genre of the alternate history. In the first paragraph we introduce the problem of the alternate history and its connection with the truth end the lie; here we try to determine a strong relation between the semantic definition of this genre and the liar paradox. In the second part we will define a short semantics for the lie. In the third paragraph we define the general characteristics of the alternate history, and finally, in the fourth paragraph, we will take in exam an example belonging to this genre: the Morsell’s novel Contropassato prossimo: Un’ipostei retrospettiva (Past Conditional: A retrospective Hypothesis).


Truth, liar paradox, literary genre, alternate history, Morselli

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Carr, David, Time, Narrative and History, Bloomington, Indiana Univeristy Press, 1986.

Casalegno, Paolo – Mariani, Mauro, Teoria degli insiemi. Un’introduzione, Roma, Carocci, 2004.

Chapman, Edgar E. – Yoke, Carl B. (eds.), Classic and Iconoclastic Alternate History Science Fiction, Lewinston, Mellen Press, 2003.

Dick, Philip K., The Man in the High Castle, New York, Putnam, 1962.

Doležel, Lubomir, Possible Worlds of Fiction and History: The Postmodern Age, Baltimore, John Hopkins, 2010.

Dummett, Michael, Truth and the Past, New York, Columbia University Press, 2005.

Katsmann, Robert, Literature, History, Choice: The Principle of Alternative History in Literature, Cambridge, Cambridge Scholar Publishers, 2013.

Lewis, David, Counterfactuals, Oxford, Blackwell, 1973.

Id., On the Plurality of Worlds, Oxford, Blackwell, 1986.

Markham, David – Resnik Mike, (eds.), History Revised, Dallas, BenBella Books, 2009.

Morselli, Guido, Contropassato prossimo (1975), Milano, Adelphi, 2012.

Prior, Arthur N., Time and Modality, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1957.

Id., Past, Present and Future, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1967.

Renouvier, Charles, Uchronie. L’utopie dans l’histoire (1876), Paris, Fayard, 1988.

Rivetti Barnabò, Francesca, L’antinomia del mentitore da Peirce a Tarski, Milano, Jaka Book, 1986.

Singles, Kathleen, Alternate History: Playing with Contingence and Necessity, Amsterdam, De Guyter, 2013.

Sorensen, Roy, A Brief History of Paradox, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003.

Tarski, Alfred, Il concetto di verità nei linguaggi formalizzati, Milano, Vita e Pensiero, 1963.



Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Between is published by the University of Cagliari - Maintenance for this OJS installation is provided by UniCA Open Journals, hosted by Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo.

Between Journal was founded in 2011 with the financial contribution of Fondazione Banco di Sardegna (years 2010-2011).

ISSN 2039-6597 

CC-By lockssDOAJ seal SPARC Europe