Lorenzo Urbano

Responsability and the Multiverse. Ethics, Action, Freedom Between Ted Chiang and Alcoholics Anonymous

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Ted Chiang’s short story Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom reflects on the problems of free will and personal responsibility through a classic science fiction trope, that of parallel worlds and parallel selves. In this article I aim to give a reading of this story through concepts and perspectives emerging from the so-called «ethical turn» in anthropology, and more specifically through Jarret Zigon’s concept of fidelity as condition for moral experience. I also try to use this specific reading of the short story to reflect on my own ethnographic research among self-help groups for the rehabilitation from drug addiction, and more specifically Alcoholics Anonymous.


  • Chiang
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Moral Experience
  • Moral Breakdown
  • Fidelity


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