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I believe in Sherlock Holmes The Case for Personhood


Daniel Gruszczynski !"# $ri%in& for 'cademic Con%e(%s II Professor $alden )arch *!+ "! ,

Gruszczynski Introduction: A Study in Fiction 'll &ood fic%ion dares %he audience %o -ues%ion %he %ru%h by acce.%in& a /hi%e lie0 I% is self1dece.%ion+ %he sus.ension of disbelief+ %ha% o.ens %he .a%h %o some%hin& more .rofound2 i% hel.s us arrive a% %he essence of %he human e(.erience0 This /as my e(.erience /hen /a%chin& Sherlock+ a 33C %elevision series based on Sir 'r%hur Conan Doyle4s Sherlock Holmes canon0 Durin& my observa%ions of season %hree+ I became ca.%iva%ed /i%h %he series and i%s devo%ed fanbase0 In .ar%icular+ I be&an %o /onder abou% %he .hiloso.hical basis of fic%ion /hen charac%ers and fans alike rallied under %he .hrase 5I believe in Sherlock Holmes6 0 This .rofession of fai%h %o/ards %he es%eemed de%ec%ive /as bo%h endearin& and bafflin&0 $as %his &enuine belief in %he realness of Holmes+ or .layful self1delusion7 I /as inclined %o acce.% %he la%%er e(.lana%ion+ bu% %hen I no%iced some%hin& s%ran&e0 $hile I clearly did no% believe %ha% %he con%en%s of %he Sherlock /orld /ere in any /ay real+ I /ro%e my observa%ions of Sherlock Holmes and Dr0 8ohn $a%son as if %hey /ere .hysical+ brea%hin& .eo.le+ and seein& %heir friendshi. develo. on1screen seemed like an e(am.le of life imi%a%in& ar%"0 $as I en&a&in& in self1delusion as /ell7 's I con%inued %o mull over %hese %hou&h%s+ I had come %o -ues%ion %he dicho%omy of reali%y and fic%ion i%self0 There seemed %o be inconsis%encies in ho/ I and mos% o%her .eo.le %alk abou% and asser% claims abou% fic%ional en%i%ies+ and maybe+ i% /as %he dicho%omy i%self %ha% mo%iva%ed %hese inconsis%encies0 Hence+ I formula%ed %/o -ues%ions#

0 Daniel Gruszczynski+ 5Sherlock 9bserva%ion No%es06 S*E 0 "0 Ibid0+ S*S"0

Gruszczynski " (1) $ha% -uali%ies dis%in&uish fic%ional charac%ers+ such as Sherlock Holmes+ from 5real6 .eo.le7 (2) $hy do /e assume %ha% %here are fic%ional charac%ers %o be&in /i%h7 I% soon occurred %o me %ha% %hese /ere very bold -ues%ions %o ask+ and findin& a decen% ans/er %ha% &oes beyond conven%ional /isdom /ould be an arduous %ask0 None%heless+ I a..roached %his endeavor /i%h in%ellec%ual curiosi%y and found myself %ryin& %o build a case %o es%ablish %he .ersonhood of my favori%e fic%ional charac%er0 Thus+ %he remainder of %his .a.er /ill e(.lore %he dialo&ue and .osi%ions re&ardin& %he s%a%us of fic%ional en%i%ies+ addressin& li%era%ure from %hree .ers.ec%ives %ha% are+ u.on firs% &lance+ only %an&en%ially rela%ed+ and a%%em.% %o .rovide a res.onse %ha% cohesively in%e&ra%es %hese sources as ans/ers %o %he above -ues%ions0 $i%hou% fur%her ado+ le% us &e% s%ar%ed0 The Philosophy of Fiction Terms 3efore /e .roceed /i%h %he li%era%ure revie/+ I /ould like %o &ive an overvie/ of %he necessary .hiloso.hical %erms and ideolo&ical .osi%ions re&ardin& fic%ion0 If you are already familiar /i%h %hese %erms+ &o s%rai&h% %o %he li%era%ure revie/0 :ou can cross1reference %hese %erms from %he Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy* for more elabora%ion# Metaphysics ; for %he .ur.oses of %his discussion+ me%a.hysics is %he s%udy of %he fundamen%al conce.%s of bein& and na%ure2 %hese conce.%s include# /ha% does i% mean %o be+ /ha% is s.ace and %ime+ ho/ do /e uni-uely define and describe %hese %erms+ e%c0 This ul%ima%ely makes my firs% -ues%ion a me%a.hysical one0

*0 <red =roon+ and 'lber%o >ol%olini0 5<ic%ion06

Gruszczynski * Ontology ; %he s%udy of e(is%ence2 /hile rela%ed %o me%a.hysics+ /e can %hink of on%olo&y is askin& /he%her some%hin& e(is%s or no%0 In con%ras%+ me%a.hysics seeks %o describe and e(.lain .henomena %ha% .hiloso.hers believe e(is% ?%he /ha%+ ho/+ and /hy -ues%ions@0 $e can %hink of my second -ues%ion as an on%olo&ical in-uiry on /he%her fic%ional charac%ers e(is%0 Narrative Identity ; %he idea %ha% individuals form %heir iden%i%y by cons%ruc%in& an in%ernalized+ evolvin& s%ory of %he self from %heir life e(.eriences2 %his &ives %he individual a sense of uni%y and .ur.ose Fiction anti-realist ; %his is %he s%ance %ha% fic%ional charac%ers do no% e(is%2 any and all descri.%ions concernin& fic%ional en%i%ies are in re&ards %o %he li%eral /ork %ha% describes %hem Fiction realist ; %his is %he s%ance %ha% fic%ional charac%ers e(is% in some /ay or form0 No%e %ha% %his is an umbrella %erm and some /ould obAec% %o &rou.in& %he follo/in& %heories under one label+ bu% none%heless+ here are %he s.ecific .osi%ions# Platonism fic%ional charac%ers e(is% in every /orld as %ranscenden% abs%rac%a ?%hey e(is% inde.enden%ly in s.ace and %ime@ Possibilism ; fic%ional charac%ers do no% e(is% in our /orld+ bu% could e(is% in o%her /orlds consis%en% %o %he condi%ions and descri.%ions needed for said charac%ers %o .lausibly e(is% ?called ontological datum@,

,0 8effrey Goodman0 5$here is Sherlock Holmes76

Gruszczynski , Meinongianism ; fic%ional charac%ers occu.y a %hird ca%e&ory of obAec%2 %here are obAec%s %ha% e(is% s.a%ial1%em.orally+ obAec%s %ha% do no%+ and obAec%s %ha% fi% nei%her ca%e&ory0 The la%%er describes fic%ional charac%ers+ /hich have a &eneral kind of 4bein&4 insomuch as %hey have basic charac%eris%ics reationism %his is also an umbrella %erm+ bu% i% /ill suffice for our .ur.oses0 This vie/ .osi%s %ha% fic%ional charac%ers are .roduc%s of %he human mind0 ' subse% of crea%ionism is arti!act"al theory ; fic%ional charac%ers are abs%rac% artifacts ?in%an&ible %hin&s /i%h a socially a&reed meanin& or se% of charac%eris%ics@ ine(%ricably de.enden% on %hose /ho crea%e+ evoke and .er.e%ua%e %hem Literary Theory Terms: <ur%hermore+ /e /ill need a fe/ more %erms .er%ainin& %o %he analysis of %he Sherlock Holmes universe?s@0 The firs% se% of %erms come from 3ar%le%% and Holland4s 5Theorizin& %he S.ace of Li%erary Prac%ices6 B# Fig"red #orld 1 5lar&e social environmen% /i%h i%s o/n se% of ac%ors+ ar%ifac%s+ rules+ and conven%ions2 i% is %he con%ainer for various discourse communi%ies and .rovides s%ruc%ure for ho/ ac%ors en&a&e /i%h one ano%her06C I /ill em.loy %his %erm liberally %o mean bo%h %he fic%ional /orld as /ell as %he me%a1/orld of i%s fans and audience0 $rti!act ; an i%em+ obAec%+ emo%ion+ or idea /i%h a socially a&reed meanin& ?or se% of charac%eris%ics@

B0 Lesley 3ar%le%% and Doro%hy Holland0 5Theorizin& %he S.ace of Li%erary Prac%ice6 + !1 ,0 C0 Daniel Gruszczynski0 5Sherlock 9bserva%ion No%es6+ 0

Gruszczynski B %isco"rse comm"nity ; a &rou. /i%h a similar /ay of communica%in& and in%erac%in& Sherlock-specific terms: Las%ly+ /e /ill need Sherlock1s.ecific vocabulary# &olmes'"e ; %his %erm refers %o %he -uali%ies %ha% Doyle a%%ribu%es %o Sherlock Holmes2 %his includes+ bu% is no% limi%ed %o# bein& a de%ec%ive+ livin& a% "" 3 3aker S%ree%+ havin& an assis%an% named $a%son+ e%c0D (herloc)ian ; a devou% fan of %he Holmes canon ?.ar% of a lar&er discourse communi%y@2 %his individual ac%ively invokes %he %ales %hrou&h role1.layin&+ discussions+ fan1fic%ion+ and a 5belief6 in %he fea%s of Holmes ?/he%her %ha% fai%h be li%eral or fi&ura%ive is %o be deba%ed@E na*ve believer ; an individual /ho believes %ha% Sherlock Holmes isF/as a real .erson ironic believer ; an individual /ho face%iously %rea%s Sherlock Holmes as a real .erson for self1 sa%isfac%ion The sources I /ill revie/ fall in%o %hree dis%inc% ca%e&ories# ? @ %he .hiloso.hy of fic%ion and narra%ives+ ?"@ %he le&acy of %he Sherlock Holmes canon+ and ?*@ a .sycholo&ical .rofile of Holmes and his admirers0 Each com.onen% /ill .rovide a se% of observa%ions %ha% I /ill dra/ u.on %o uni%e %his mul%i1face%ed issue and .rovide my conclusions re&ardin& %he .ersonhood of Sherlock Holmes0

D0 David Liebesman0 5Necessarily+ Sherlock Holmes Is No% a Person6+ "0 E0 >era Tobin0 5$ays of readin& Sherlock Holmes# %he en%renchmen% of discourse blends06

Gruszczynski C The Philosophy of Fiction and Narratives What is Fiction? The -ues%ion 5$ha% is fic%ion76 seems %o be as old as fic%ion i%self0 Some of %he earlies% in-uiries in%o %his %o.ic da%e back %o ancien% Greece /i%h Pla%o0 Pla%o believed %ha% fic%ional charac%ers and numbers e(is% inde.enden%ly from s.ace and %ime+ and %hus e(is% in every .ossible /orld0 This vie/ is called Pla%onismG0 <e/ con%em.orary scholars hold %his vie/0 Since Pla%o+ .hiloso.hers and li%erary %heoris%s have con%ribu%ed %o %his deba%e by in%roducin& .ossibilism+ )einon&ianism+ and crea%ionism0 )uch of /ha% surrounds %his deba%e is %he no%ion %ha% bein& and e(is%ence are dis%inc% ?as .ro.osed by %he S%oics@0 Philoso.her David Le/is ?a .ossibilis%@ reAec%ed %his dis%inc%ion ?acce.%ed by classical .ossibilis%s@ on %he &rounds %ha% %here is no s.ecific on%olo&ical .ro.er%y %ha% de%ermines /he%her a bein& e(is%s or no%0 He uses %he %erm ac%uali%y %o describe rela%ionshi.s be%/een s.a%ial1%em.oral bein&s0 Ho/ever+ in %he case of fic%ional charac%ers+ Le/is does no% find a lack of ac%uali%y %o be si&nifican% !0 The fac% %ha% Sherlock Holmes is no% in my vicini%y says no%hin& fundamen%al abou% his e(is%ence0 In con%ras%+ %hose /ho acce.% )einon&ianism %rea% Holmes as havin& a &eneric bein&ness /i%h %rai%s from %he canon ?re&ardless of /he%her individual %rai%s lo&ically con%radic% o%her %rai%s+ /hich is an issue for .ossibilis%s@0 3o%h .ossibilism and )einon&ianism have modera%e su..or% amon& scholars0 The mos% .o.ular vie/ amon& con%em.orary scholars is Thomasson4s 'r%ifac%ual %heory0 8effrey Goodman e(.lains %ha% ar%ifac%ual %heory is %he only fic%ional %heory %ha% accoun%s for au%horial in%en% 0 3o%h Goodman " and David Liebesman a&ree %ha% our abili%y %o discuss and hold rela%ively consis%en% de.ic%ions of fic%ional charac%ers means %ha% %hey e(is% on some level

Gruszczynski D ?unlike %he an%i1realis% s%ance@ 0 Tim 3u%%on e(.lores %his issue called %he o.era%or or 5s.o%%y sco.e6 .roblem0 3asically+ %hose /ho are fic%ion an%i1realis%s ?or irrealis%s@ face a lo&ical dilemma /hen %hey in%ui%ively %ry %o com.are fic%ional en%i%ies %o en%i%ies of ano%her fi&ured /orld+ bo%h real or fic%ional0 Sim.ly e(%endin& %he domain of discourse ?fi&ured /orld@ does no% elimina%e %his .roblem *0 <or Liebesman+ %he .rimary issue in de%erminin& /he%her fic%ional charac%ers -ualify as non.hysical .ersons is %he %ask of uni-uely ascribin& a se% of -uali%ies %o one name and en%i%y0 This is an e(%ension of Saul =ri.ke4s ar&umen% abou% Sherlock Holmes0 'ccordin& %o Liebesman+ %he connec%ion be%/een %he name 5Sherlock Holmes6 and bein& Holmes-ue fails %o mee% %his re-uiremen%+ leadin& %o %he conclusion %ha% Holmes could no% be a real .erson in any /orld 0 $hile Liebesman does no% e(.lici%ly say he is in favor of 'r%ifac%ual %heory+ he does say %ha% his conclusion is com.a%ible /i%h i% ,0 Thus+ %hese scholars lead one %o conclude %ha% Holmes is an abs%rac% ar%ifac% de.enden% on Doyle and his fans0 $i%hin %his .ers.ec%ive+ Sherlock Holmes is a cul%ural and his%orical .roduc%+ and /e /ill e(.lore %he conse-uences of %his .ers.ec%ive in %he li%erary le&acy sec%ion0

E0 )ark 3ala&uer0 5Pla%onism in )e%a.hysics60 G0 Chris%o.her )enzel0 5Classical Possibilism and Le/isian Possibilism06 !0 8effrey Goodman0 5$here is Sherlock Holmes76 0 Ibid0 "0 Tim 3u%%on0 5S.o%%y Sco.e and 9ur Hela%ion %o <ic%ions06 *0 David Liebesman0 5Necessarily+ Sherlock Holmes Is No% a Person6+ *1B0 ,0 Ibid0+ C0

Gruszczynski E The arrati!e as a form of understanding 9ne of %he com.ellin& fea%ures of fic%ion is ho/ i% conveys %ru%h in %he seemin&ly unreal0 In %erms of s%ruc%ure+ mos% fic%ions are narra%ives /i%h a .rede%ermined be&innin&+ middle+ and end0 There a..ears %o be a .hiloso.hical basis for %his .henomena0 =im '%kins ar&ues %ha% human unders%andin& is a narra%ive and %hus our iden%i%ies %ake a narra%ive form+ /hich incor.ora%es %he blendin& of %he %hree .oin%s of vie/ as an e(%ension of our bodily e(.erience B0 The narra%ive model &ives rise %o %he orderin& of even%s in %ime+ leadin& us %o cons%ruc% a .as%+ .resen%+ and fu%ure as if %hey /ere a .ro.er be&innin&+ middle+ and end0 Er&o+ /e mold %hese even%s %o fi% a cause1and1effec% rela%ionshi. C0 Iden%i%y also arises from embodimen%2 /e mus% a..ro.ria%e %he accoun%s of a 5charac%er6+ and %ha% charac%er mus% be %he subAec% of our narra%ive0 In doin& so+ /e become bo%h %he "riter and reader of our life4s narra%ive and es%ablish cons%ancy0 In claimin& ac%ions+ /e &ain liabili%y from %hem+ /hich &ives rise %o a&ency D0 $ha% all of %his means is such# %he develo.men% of ?realis%ic@ fic%ion s%ems na%urally from %he human e(.erience0 'no%her /ay of .hrasin& %his findin& is %ha% /e as individuals embody our o/n narra%ive by im.osin& order %o even%s in %imes and %heir rela%ive si&nificance0 9ur abili%y %o %ell cohesive s%ories in /hich /e are %he main ac%or is analo&ous %o Doyle /ri%in& %ales abou% Sherlock Holmes0 Thus+ i% /ould seem %ha% %he .rocess of crea%in& charac%ers as o..osed %o formin& %he self is no% so dissimilar af%er all0

B0 =im '%kins0 5Narra%ive iden%i%y+ .rac%ical iden%i%y and e%hical subAec%ivi%y6+ *,*1*,C0 C0 Ibid0+ *,E0 D0 Ibid0+ *B 1*B*0

Gruszczynski G Literary Legacy of Sherlock Holmes This sec%ion /ill .rovide a brief com.arison be%/een %he ori&inal Sherlock Holmes %ales and i%s recen% ada.%a%ions and .redecessors %o sho/ Holmes as a dynamic en%i%y0 The differen% %heories of fic%ion can e(.lain %he chan&es from each ada.%a%ion0 ' .ossibilis% may see %he differen% versions of Holmes as 5ac%ualiza%ions6 in differin& /orlds0 ' )einon&ianis% mi&h% see all of %hese as %he same bein&ness %ha% is Holmes0 'nd if you acce.% ar%ifac%ual %heory+ %hen %his sec%ion .or%rays Holmes as an ar%ifac% %ha% chan&es and ada.%s %o %he cul%ure of %hose /ho con%inue %o reference him0 <or .rac%ical .ur.oses+ I /ill kee. my .hrasin& consis%en% /i%h ar%ifac%ual %heory as %ha% is %he mos% in%ui%ive me%hod for makin& %his com.arison0 The E!olution of Sherlock #olmes Sir 'r%hur Conan Doyle be&an /i%h The $d!entures of Sherlock #olmes+ /hich /as a collec%ion of %/elve shor% s%ories .ublished in EG"0 This fi&ured /orld reveals Doyle4s ideolo&y and as /ell as %he ideals of %he .revailin& cul%ure in >ic%orian London0 Doyle .or%rays Holmes as a man of ra%ionali%y and science+ a -uin%essen%ial hero /ho uses cu%%in&1ed&e %echnolo&y and .roblem1solvin& %echni-ues %o crack cases0 Ellen Harrin&%on /ould ar&ue %ha% because Doyle em.hasizes %he scien%ific me%hod above charac%eriza%ion+ i% is ironic %ha% many of %he cases /ere far1fe%ched and con%ained faul%y ?abduc%ive+ no% deduc%ive@ reasonin& on Holmes4 .ar%0 Doyle .rovides esca.ism %hrou&h .rofessed ra%ionaliza%ion+ and so+ %he mys%eries %hemselves re-uire a cer%ain sus.ension of disbelief E0 In con%ras%+ %he con%em.orary versions of Sherlock Holmes con%ain differen% elemen%s of %he ori&inal+ bu% %he bi&&es% chan&e is %ha% Holmes is no lon&er a hero+ bu% a .os%modern an%i1 hero0 3enAamin Poore a&rees /i%h %his vie/+ callin& Holmes %he 5ne/ man for %he ne/ a&e6 G0

Gruszczynski ! Similarly+ 'shley Polasek describes %he .os%modern Sherlock as an 5acerbic social ou%cas%6 "!0 She com.ares 33C4s Sherlock+ C3S4s Elementary+ and Guy Hi%chie4s Sherlock #olmes franchise in ho/ %hey each em.hasize differen% as.ec%s of Holmes4 .ersonali%y %o crea%e a uni-ue ye% rela%able version of him for %he curren% audience0 The ada.%a%ions infer and make assum.%ions abou% Holmes in %hese al%erna%e fi&ured /orlds+ and /hile %hey seem %o inheri% Doyle4s em.hasis on me%hodolo&y+ %here is much more charac%eriza%ion0 The audience can see Holmes e(.lici%ly &ro/ and reac% %o circums%ances+ and even more no%e/or%hy+ %he audience can /a%ch social dynamics unfold0 'l%o&e%her+ %his makes Sherlock Holmes %he mos% .or%rayed charac%er of all %ime" 0 $ha% is lef% from %his di&ression is %o analyze /he%her %his vie/ of Sherlock Holmes as an abs%rac% ar%ifac% %ells %he en%ire s%ory0 $e have au%hors and direc%ors s.a/nin& ne/ versions of Holmes ?or charac%ers hi&hly ins.ired by him@+ and i% /ould seem %ha% Holmes4 %ransforma%ion is a con%ainer for lar&er social con%e(%s0 The ne(% sec%ion /ill e(.lore a% %he individual level /ha% is ha..enin& /hen .eo.le en&a&e /i%h %hese fi&ured /orlds0 3u% firs%+ /e mus% .onder if Holmes4 comin& %o life+ or in %he case of some researchers""+ Holmes4 e(.er%ise as a de%ec%ive mirrors %ha% of a .erson /hose influence .ersuade fans %o see him no% as a fic%ional charac%er+ bu% as a role model and as a men%or0 'nd so+ &iven %ha% Holmes is a charac%er /e can learn from and reflec% u.on+ does %his -uali%y con%radic% %he /ay ar%ifac%ual %heory reduces fic%ional en%i%ies %o mere social con%ainers7
E0 Ellen 30 Harrin&%on0 5Na%ion+ iden%i%y+ and %he fascina%ion /i%h forensic science in Sherlock Holmes and CSI6+ *CD1*D 0 G0 3enAamin Poore0 5Sherlock Holmes and %he Lea. of <ai%h0006+ C 0 "!0 'shley D0 Polasek0 5Surveyin& %he Pos%1)illennial Sherlock Holmes0006+ *EB0 " 0 Guinness $orld Hecord0 ""0 DidierAean 'ndrI and Gobe% <ernand0 5Sherlock Holmes ; an e(.er%4s vie/ of e(.er%ise60

Gruszczynski The Psychological Profile of Sherlockians The .revious sec%ion .rovided some his%orical back&round as /ell as &ave a &lim.se in%o %he .os%modern Sherlock Holmes in con%ras% %o Doyle4s %radi%ional Holmes0 This sec%ion /ill a%%em.% %o .lace %his informa%ion in a more relevan% li&h%0 This sec%ion /ill also .rovide evidence %o challen&e %he in%ui%ion behind referrin& %o Holmes as an abs%rac% ar%ifac% by e(.lorin& %he .sycholo&y of Sherlockians and %heir devo%ion %o Holmes0 Sherlockians: Faith in Logic Harrin&%on no%ed %he role %he Sherlock Holmes s%ories .layed for i%s audience ; /hile %he %ales em.hasized lo&ic and ra%ionali%y+ %he .remises and conclusions /i%hin cer%ain cases /ere dubious0 9n some level+ %he s%ories o.era%ed on fai%h0 Even /i%hin my observa%ions of Season Three of 33C4s Sherlock"*+ %he individuals /i%hin %ha% fi&ured /orld held a fai%h1like devo%ion %o Sherlock as a .erson and as an ideal0 This mirrors %he le&ions of fans found online /ho con%inue %o con%ribu%e and e(.lore %he my%hos of Holmes0 3enAamin Poore su&&es%s %ha% %he role of devou% fans are similar %o fai%h1based .rac%ices+ develo.in& some of %he charac%eris%ics reminiscen% %o reli&ion0 Preferences %o one ada.%a%ion over ano%her+ and %he differences in ada.%a%ions %hemselves are analo&ous %o sec%s0 Since ada.%a%ions of%en build from or reinven% %he ori&inal canon from a ne/ .ers.ec%ive+ %hey are similar %o %he role %he Gos.els .lay in %he 3ible0 Poore4s com.arison is no% unfounded2 in fac%+ %he firs% Sherlockians+ ins.ired by an essay by %he %heolo&ian Honald '0 =no( 5S%udies in %he Li%era%ure of Sherlock Holmes6 ?c0 G @ + had ri%uals and en&a&ed in carefully researched .lay %ha% dele&a%ed Holmes and $a%son as lar&er1%han1life .eo.le and %rea%ed Doyle as sim.ly 5%he li%erary a&en%60 Even %he s%ories %hemselves have biblical .arallels+ such as Sherlock4s 5dea%h6 in %he Heichenbach <all", and subse-uen% re%urn mirrorin&

Gruszczynski " %he crucifica%ion and resurrec%ion of 8esus0 Sherlock4s inner circle+ ins.ired by %he effec% Holmes has had on %he /orld+ ac% as disci.les by .er.e%ua%in& his my%hos"B0 %nside the &ind of a Sherlockian The final .iece %o %his .uzzle comes from >era Tobin4s .a.er %i%led 5 $ays of readin& Sherlock Holmes# %he en%renchmen% of discourse blends06 This .a.er connec%s %he .hiloso.hical basis for %he narra%ive /i%h %he fai%h1based zeal of Sherlockians ; i% e(amines ho/ narra%ives can .rovide numerous readin&s de.endin& on %he individual4s dis.osi%ion+ e(.eriences+ and /orld vie/0 <or %his+ /e come back %o %he discourse communi%y of %he Sherlockians+ con%ras%in& %he .sycholo&ical difference be%/een naJve and ironic believers in ho/ %hey in%er.re% and in%ernalize %he s%ories0 I% %urns ou% %ha% %his .rocess is closely rela%ed %o ho/ /e make sense of our o/n life0 The iden%ifica%ion of charac%ers occurs as one iden%ifies ac%ors in a .lay+ %hrou&h %heir consis%ency be%/een label ?name@ and %heir .ersonali%y+ &es%ures+ verbal .a%%erns+ and ac%ions"C 0 This is remarkably similar %o '%kins4 descri.%ion of ho/ /e cons%ruc% our o/n narra%ives based on %he ra/ da%a a% our dis.osal ; our e(.eriences are akin %o /ords on a .a&e in %ha% nei%her hold si&nificance in of %hemselves un%il /e connec% %hem %o a cohesive s%ruc%ure0

"*0 Daniel Gruszczynski+ 5Sherlock 9bserva%ion No%es60 ",0 The Heichenbach <all refers %o %he even% in /hich Sherlock Holmes and 8im )oriar%y face off %o %heir dea%hs0 In %he canon+ %hey bo%h fall from a /a%erfall of %he same name in Germany0 In 33C4s Sherlock+ )oriar%y shoo%s himself in %he mou%h and forces Sherlock %o Aum. off of a buildin& %o his su..osed dea%h0 In bo%h versions+ Sherlock miraculously re%urns af%er some e(%ended .eriod of %ime0 "B0 3enAamin Poore+ BG1 C*0 "C0 >era Tobin+ DB1DE0

Gruszczynski * Cerebrally+ %he reader has %/o modes of en&a&emen%0 The firs% is immersion+ /hich .rovides %he sus.ension of disbelief2 %he brain simula%es %he meanin& of %he /ords read as if %he reader /ere /i%nessin& %he even% in real1%ime0 The second mode allo/s us %o hold %he me%a1vie/ %ha% %he /ork is fic%ion0 The %/o modes occur simul%aneously and seamlessly0 The naJve believer+ /hich his%orically made u. %he ne/ly li%era%e 3ri%ish /orkin& class+ havin& been e(.osed %o fe/ books o%her %han %he 3ible+ /ere ill1e-ui..ed %o handle %he cer%ain -uali%ies of fic%ion %ha% %he ironic believer could0 9ne such skill lackin& /as %he necessi%y %o -ues%ion %he veraci%y of %he au%hor and %hus+ %hey did no% hold %he me%a1vie/ %ha% %he s%ories %hey read /ere in any /ay false0 In con%ras%+ %he ironic believer en&a&ed in self1delusion %o mimic %he reac%ions of a naJve believer /hile s%ill havin& a func%ionin& second mode of en&a&emen%"C0 In o%her /ords+ /i%hou% a learned conce.% of fic%ion+ realis%ic fic%ion %ricks our brains in%o %rea%in& %he de%ails of %he /ork as %rue0 This im.lies %ha% Sherlock Holmes /asFis indeed a real .erson %o %hose lackin& a fully1formed conce.% of fic%ion0 $hile one canno% make claims abou% Sherlock4s e(is%ence based on %his alone+ i% does lead one %o ask# do %he naJve believers have a .o%en%ially valid vie/ of Holmes7

esponse: !ho or !hat is Sherlock Holmes" No/ %ha% /e have had %he chance %o revie/ %he necessary li%era%ure+ i% is %ime %o .resen% my ar&umen%0 )y res.onse /ill be&in /i%h a brief e(.lana%ion and res.onse %o %he %/o ori&inal -ues%ions+ and %hen I /ill di&ress in%o %he de%ails and im.lica%ions of my vie/0

Gruszczynski , &y 'ie" of #olmes If /e are %o define 5.ersonhood6 in %he abs%rac% sense ; %ha% is+ an individual /ho %hinks+ feels+ ac%s /i%h a sense of a&ency+ and occu.ies a s.ace /holly %heir o/n+ %hen I am inclined %o acce.% %ha% Sherlock Holmes is indeed a .erson0 )y observa%ions of Sherlock in %he 33C ada.%a%ion fi% %his cri%eria -ui%e easily+ and because %he fi&ured /orld follo/s %he na%ural la/s %ha% mirror our o/n+ %here is no issue /i%h .lausibili%y %ha% one canno% ascribe %o sli&h% e(a&&era%ion of fea%s and abili%y"D0 Ho/ever+ I mus% address %he cri%icisms of Liebesman+ Goodman+ and %he o%her ar%ifac%ualis%s0 Their ar&umen%s are sound+ bu% I %hink %ha% %here is an e-uivoca%ion /i%h ho/ %hey are usin& %he name 5Sherlock Holmes6 /hich I /ill clarify0 I% /ould seem %ha% David Le/is4 version of .ossibilism"E is incom.a%ible /i%h ar%ifac%ual %heory+ and %hey /ould be if %hey /ere mu%ually e(clusive %heories0 Ho/ever+ %his is only %he case /hen /e com.are %hem on %he same level of abs%rac%ion0 If /e use 8esus as an e(am.le+ 8esus has dual e(is%ence as a his%orical fi&ure and %he .roclaimed son of God0 The former is 8esus as a .erson+ and %he la%%er is 8esus as an ar%ifac% of %he Chris%ian fai%h0 I believe /e can vie/ Sherlock Holmes in a similar li&h%0 Sherlock Holmes+ %he man and de%ec%ive+ is a .erson under Le/is4 .ossibilism+ bu% Sherlock Holmes+ %he cul%ural icon+ is an ar%ifac%0 3y makin& %his dis%inc%ion+ %he .revious inconsis%encies cease %o be an issue0 To&e%her+ .ossibilism and ar%ifac%ual %heory form a holis%ic vie/ of Sherlock Holmes in such a /ay %ha% %he o%her %heories+ /hen %aken alone+ canno%0

"C0 >era Tobin+ E 1E"0 "D0 Daniel Gruszczynski+ 5Sherlock 9bserva%ion No%es06 "E0 Chris%o.her )enzel0 5Classical Possibilism and Le/isian Possibilism06

Gruszczynski B

? @ $ha% -uali%ies dis%in&uish fic%ional charac%ers+ such as Sherlock Holmes+ from 5real6 .eo.le7 +esponse, 9%her %han a lack of s.a%ial1%em.oral loca%ion in our .ar%icular /orld+ fic%ional charac%ers in realis%ic fic%ion are isomor.hic %o real+ .hysical .eo.le0 ?"@ $hy do /e assume %ha% %here are fic%ional charac%ers %o be&in /i%h7 +esponse, Kl%ima%ely+ I %hink /e fall back on %he assum.%ion %ha% .hysical .resence is reali%y and every%hin& else is in %he realm of %hou&h%s and fic%ion0 3ecause /e refer %o Holmes-ue individuals as bein& Sherlock Holmes"G+ /e confla%e /ha% /e mean /hen /e refer %o %he differen% versions of Holmes0 $ha% makes Holmes fic%ional is %he level of abs%rac%ion %ha% dele&a%es him as an abs%rac% ar%ifac% lackin& a .hysical basis0 I% is %he same /ay /e %rea% carica%ures of real1life individuals ; as con%ainers for lar&er cul%ural and social ideals0 The individual %he carica%ure re.resen%s is real+ bu% /hen said individual is imma%erial+ /e become inconsis%en% and %rea% bo%h en%i%ies as fic%ional ra%her %han Aus% %he ar%ifac%0 #olmes as a person 3o%h %he ar%ifac%ualis% ?and irrealis%@ and naJve believer o.era%e on faul%y lo&ic+ bu% in o..osi%e /ays0 The former confla%es all versions of Holmes as fic%ional ?ar%ifac%s@*! /hereas %he naJve believer confla%es all versions of Holmes as real0 I believe %ha% %he ironic believer reco&nizes %he %rue na%ure of Sherlock Holmes+ and %hus+ %hey en&a&e in /i%%y discourse e(.loi%in& %he rela%ionshi. be%/een .erson and ar%ifac%0 Tobin4s descri.%ion of our minds simula%in& %he even%s of a narra%ive re.resen% an abs%rac%ion of Holmes %he .erson+ and %his abs%rac%ion is %he basis of ho/ /e com.are him %o .hysical .eo.le* 0 This resolves %he s.o%%y sco.e .roblem 3u%%on addresses*"0

Gruszczynski C

$hen i% comes %o %he differen% ada.%a%ions of Holmes+ I %hink i% is mos% consis%en% %o %rea% %hem as differen% .eo.le /ho share %he same name0 The differences in se%%in& be%/een Sherlock+ Elementary+ and %he o%hers re.resen% dis%inc% /orlds in /hich %ha% .ar%icular Holmes is a .erson /ho %hinks+ feels+ dis.lays a&ency+ and has a s.a%ial1%em.oral loca%ion0 They each es%ablish %heir o/n iden%i%y by a..ro.ria%in& %he Holmes-ue %rai%s and ac%ions0 The se% of %heir mu%ual %rai%s makes %hem all Holmes-ue+ and since bein& Holmes-ue is sufficien% for bein& Holmes+ %his means %ha% each dis%inc% Holmes also share %he ar%ifac% name of Sherlock Holmes0 This elimina%es Liebesman4s obAec%ion /hile kee.in& his overall ar&umen% in%ac%**0 $e can %hink of %he e.isodes of 33C4s Sherlock as ac%ualiza%ions of Sherlock4s life as a narra%ive0 The even%s have already %rans.ired in %ha% /orld+ bu% S%even )offa% and )ark Ga%iss .rovided %he means %o /hich /e can observe said even%s by havin& i% as a visual medium*,0 $ha%ever lo&ical inconsis%encies a..ear in %he narra%ive %hus become %he faul% of i%s %eller?s@+ and i% does no% in any /ay invalida%e %he veraci%y of Holmes4 .lausibili%y as a .erson0 )ore in%ui%ively+ %his is /ha% ha..ens /hen /e recall .as% even%s and recons%ruc% a narra%ive %o %ell %o o%hers0 )is%akes occur+ bu% %hese errors do no% invalida%e %he fac% %ha% similar even%s %ook .lace0 #olmes as an artifact $e can accoun% for au%horial in%en% by sayin& %ha% Doyle bo%h ac%ualized Sherlock Holmes %he .erson as /ell as crea%ed an ar%ifac% of %he same name0 Thus+ one can con%inue %o %hink of %he li%erary le&acy of Holmes in %erms of ar%ifac%ual %heory0 This is convenien% for our

"G0 David Liebesman0 5Necessarily+ Sherlock Holmes Is No% a Person6+ "0 *!0 <red =roon+ and 'lber%o >ol%olini0 5<ic%ion06 * 0 >era Tobin0 5$ays of readin& Sherlock Holmes0006 *"0 Tim 3u%%on0 5S.o%%y Sco.e and 9ur Hela%ion %o <ic%ions06

Gruszczynski D
**0 David Liebesman0 5Necessarily+ Sherlock Holmes Is No% a Person06 *,0 S%even )offa% and )ark Ga%iss0 Sherlock# Season Three0

in%ui%ion as /ell as for his%orical .ur.oses0 $hen %he differen% versions of Sherlock Holmes affec% and influence us in differen% /ays+ /e can vie/ i% ei%her on %he .ersonal level+ or on %he ideolo&ical level0 Polasek describes %he %ransi%ion from %he heroic classic Holmes %o %he an%i1hero .os%modern Holmes by evokin& Holmes %he ar%ifac% and no%in& ho/ bein& Holmes-ue has chan&ed because %he ar%ifac% of Holmes has chan&ed*B0 Each Holmes has a fi(ed dis.osi%ion on a .ersonal level+ bu% %hen is .ar% of %he lar&er ar%ifac% %ha% serves %o rela%e %hem %o %he .revailin& ideas of our cul%ure0 Poore4s discussion on Sherlockians sho/ %he conse-uences of ho/ usin& %he same label %o al%erna%e be%/een Holmes %he .erson and Holmes %he ar%ifac% leads %o confusion*C0 I /ould ar&ue %ha% %his confla%ion leads %o my%hs and le&ends+ /hich mi&h% e(.lain /hy %his resul% encoura&es fana%icism0 This makes %he .hrase 5I believe in Sherlock Holmes6 a double en%endre# a belief in %he e(is%ence of Holmes as a .erson and a belief %ha% Holmes as an ar%ifac% is some%hin& /e can de.end on0 #ase #losed" 3efore I conclude my discussion and le% %he reader decide /ha% %o %ake a/ay from %his .a.er+ le% me make one final .oin%0 I% is im.era%ive %ha% %hose /ho value and seek kno/led&e mus% be %he ones /ho fur%her discussion on %he %o.ics %ha% in%ri&ue %hem0 In %his case+ %he %o.ic of fic%ion ins.ired me because fic%ion &ives .eo.le some%hin& %o believe in0 <ic%ion resona%es /i%h us because fic%ion &ives us a %rue &lim.se in%o %he human e(.erience0 <ic%ion is no% Aus% esca.ism+ i% is a mirror and a crys%al ball %ha% allo/s us no% only see %he /orld for /ha% i% is+ bu% also &ives us %he audaci%y %o ac%ualize some%hin& be%%er0 Thus+ my discussion on %he .ersonhood of Sherlock Holmes is no% s%ric%ly li%eral+ bu% ra%her+ i% is a me%a.hor and a manifes%o0 I% is a creed

Gruszczynski E %o no% sim.ly acce.% %he conven%ional+ %he obvious+ or %he immedia%e0 I% is a call %o arms %o .ush boundaries+ %o -ues%ion+ and %o ins.ire o%hers %o dream bi& and ac%ualize %he unreal0 I% is %o say+ 5I believe in Sherlock Holmes06

*B0 'shley Polasek+ 5Surveyin& %he Pos%1)illennial Sherlock Holmes0006 *C0 3enAamin Poore+ 5Sherlock Holmes and %he Lea. of <ai%h0006

Gruszczynski G 3iblio&ra.hy 'ndrI+ DidierAean+ and Gobe% <ernand0 5Sherlock Holmes ; an e(.er%4s vie/ of e(.er%ise06 (ritish )ournal of Psychology GG+ no0 ?"!!E@# !G1 "B0 doi# !0 *,EF!!!D "C!DL"",,CG0 '%kins+ =im0 5Narra%ive iden%i%y+ .rac%ical iden%i%y and e%hical subAec%ivi%y06 *ontinental Philosophy +e!ie" *D+ no0 * ?"!!,@# *, 1*CC0 h%%.#FF%inyurl0comFo""yuEG0 3ala&uer+ )ark0 5Pla%onism in )e%a.hysics06 The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ?"!!,@0 Ed/ard N0 Mal%a ?ed0 "!!G@0 http:,,plato-stanford-edu,entries,platonism, 3ar%le%%+ Lesley+ and Doro%hy Holland0 5Theorizin& %he S.ace of Li%erary Prac%ice06 Ways of .no"ing )ournal "+ no0 ?"!!"@# !1""0 3u%%on+ Tim0 5S.o%%y Sco.e and 9ur Hela%ion %o <ic%ions06 o/s ,C+ no0 " ?"! "@# ",*1"BE0 doi# !0 FA0 ,CE1!!CE0"! !0!!DEB0(0 Goodman+ 8effrey0 5$here is Sherlock Holmes76 The Southern )ournal of Philosophy , + no0 " ?"!!*@0 doi# !0 FA0"!, 1CGC"0"!!*0%b!!G,E0(0 Gruszczynski+ Daniel0 Sherlock 9bserva%ion No%es0 <ebruary *+ "! ,0 Harrin&%on0 Ellen 30 5Na%ion+ iden%i%y+ and %he fascina%ion /i%h forensic science in Sherlock Holmes and CSI06 %nternational )ournal of *ultural Studies !+ no0 * ?"!!D@# *CB1*E"0 doi# !0 DDF *CDEDDG!D!E! ,G0 =roon+ <red+ and 'lber%o >ol%olini0 5<ic%ion06 The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ?<all "! @0 h%%.#FF.la%o0s%anford0eduFarchivesFfall"! Fen%riesFfic%ionF0 Liebesman+ David0 5Necessarily+ Sherlock Holmes Is No% a Person06 $nalytic Philosophy ?"! ,@# 1 *0 doi# !0 F.hib0 "!*G0 )enzel+ Chris%o.her0 N'c%ualism ; Classical Possibilism and Le/isian Possibilism0N The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ?$in%er "! *@0 Ed/ard N0 Mal%a0 h%%.#FF.la%o0s%anford0eduFarchivesF/in"! *Fen%riesFac%ualismF Polasek+ 'shley D0 5Surveyin& %he Pos%1)illennial Sherlock Holmes# ' Case for %he Grea% De%ec%ive as a )an of 9ur Times06 01ford )ournals C+ no0 * ?"! *@# *E,1*G*0 doi# !0 !G*Fada.%a%ionFa.%!!CPoore+ 3enAamin0 5Sherlock Holmes and %he Lea. of <ai%h# The <orces of <andom and Conver&ence in 'da.%a%ions of %he Holmes and $a%son S%ories06 01ford )ournals C+ no0 " ?"! *@# BE1 D 0 doi# !0 !G*Fada.%a%ionFa.s!",0

Gruszczynski "! )offa%+ S%even and )ark Ga%iss0 Sherlock# Season Three0 T>0 <irs% broadcas% 8anuary G+ "! , by 33C 9ne0 Tobin+ >era0 5$ays of readin& Sherlock Holmes# %he en%renchmen% of discourse blends06 Language and Literature B+ no0 ?"!!C@# D*1G!0 doi# !0 DDF!GC*G,D!!C!C!BBC0

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