Science Fiction and Philosophy

Many philosophy enthusiasts have noted parallels between science fiction and philosophy and in some of my scholarship, I have sought to pursue those parallels. A life-long fan of Star Trek, I have occasionally tried to combine my philosophical interests and my interests in the universe of Star Trek. Some of what is collected here are blog posts from a project I hope to get back to some day.

In this essay I argue that there is an extended and complex meditation on the status of humanity that is at the center of the Star Trek enterprise, one that can contribute to our current interest in human-technology relations and the posthuman. Paying particular attention to the manner in which Star Trek negotiates the human-machine boundary and drawing on the work of feminist theorists such as Annette Baier, Nancy Chodorow, Carol Gilligan, and Nancy Hartsock, I argue that implicit in the show’s dealings with marginal, technological beings is an understanding of the nature of second personhood which suggests that human beings are interdependent, ineluctably social, relational, and embodied beings. 

This essay was authored with a former student of mine, Justin Nicholas, and explores Dick's philosophical ruminations through the various film treatments of his text. It appeared in Philip K. Dick and Philosophy, edited by Dylan Wittkower.