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The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy: The Search for Socrates

William Irwin (Series Editor), Kevin S. Decker (Editor), Jason T. Eberl (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-119-14600-1
368 pages
April 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy: The Search for Socrates (1119146003) cover image

Description

  • Reunites the editors of Star Trek and Philosophy with Starfleet’s finest experts for 31 new, highly logical essays
  • Features a complete examination of the Star Trek universe, from the original series to the most recent films directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
  • Introduces important concepts in philosophy through the vast array of provocative issues raised by the series, such as the ethics of the Prime Directive, Star Trek’s philosophy of peace, Data and Voyager’s Doctor as persons, moral relativism and the Federation’s quest for liberation, the effect of alternate universes on reality and identity, the Borg as transhumanists, Federation Trekonomics, Star Trek’s secular society, and much, much more…!
  • An enterprising and enlightening voyage into deep space that will appeal to hardcore fans and science fiction enthusiasts alike
  • Publishing in time to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the original TV series
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments: The Command Staff of Utopia Planitia ix

Introduction: A Guide to Living Long and Prospering 1

I Alpha Quadrant: Home Systems 5

1 “The More Complex the Mind, the Greater the Need for the Simplicity of Play” 7
Jason T. Eberl

2 Aristotle and James T. Kirk: The Problem of Greatness 18
Jerold J. Abrams

3 The Moral Psychology of a Starship Captain 26
Tim Challans

4 “Make It So”: Kant, Confucius, and the Prime Directive 36
Alejandro B´arcenas and Steve Bein

5 Destroying Utopias: Why Kirk Is a Jerk 47
David Kyle Johnson

6 “We Are Not Going to Kill Today”: Star Trek and the Philosophy of Peace 59
David Boersema

II Beta Quadrant: Dangerous Rivalries 69

7 Klingons: A Cultural Pastiche 71
Victor Grech

8 The Borg as Contagious Collectivist Techno-Totalitarian Transhumanists 83
Dan Dinello

9 Assimilation and Autonomy 95
Barbara Stock

10 Q: A Rude, Interfering, Inconsiderate, Sadistic Pest—on a Quest for Justice? 105
Kyle Alkema and Adam Barkman

11 Federation Trekonomics: Marx, the Federation, and the Shift from Necessity to Freedom 115
Jeff Ewing

12 “The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few”: Utilitarianism and Star Trek 127
Greg Littmann

13 Casuistry in the Final Frontier 138
Courtland Lewis

III Delta Quadrant: Questing for Home 149

14 “Today Is a Good Day to Die!” Transporters and Human Extinction 151
William Jaworski

15 Two Kirks, Two Rikers 162
Trip McCrossin

16 Data, Kant, and Personhood; or,Why Data Is Not a Toaster 172
Nina Rosenstand

17 Humans, Androids, Cyborgs, and Virtual Beings: All aboard the Enterprise 180
Dennis M.Weiss

18 Photons (and Drones) Be Free: Phenomenology and the Life-Worlds of Voyager’s Doctor and Seven of Nine 190
Nicole R. Pramik

19 Vision Quest into Indigenous Space 199
Walter Robinson

IV Gamma Quadrant: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations 211

20 Rethinking the Matter: Organians Are Still Organisms 213
Melanie Johnson-Moxley

21 “In Search of . . . ” Friendship: What We Can Learn from Androids and Vulcans 223
James M. Okapal

22 Resistance Is Negligible: In Praise of Cyborgs 232
Lisa Cassidy

23 “Who I Really Am”: Odo, Mead, and the Self 243
Pamela JG Boyer

24 Is Liberation Ever a Bad Thing? Enterprise’s “Cogenitor” and Moral Relativism 253
William A. Lindenmuth

25 Resistance Really Is Futile: On Being Assimilated by Our Own Technology 264
Dena Hurst

V Beyond the Galactic Barrier: The Future as the Final Frontier 273

26 Life on a Holodeck: What Star Trek Can Teach Us about the True Nature of Reality 275
Dara Fogel

27 Which Spock Is the Real One? Alternate Universes and Identity 288
Andrew Zimmerman Jones

28 “Strangely Compelling”: Romanticism in “The City on the Edge of Forever” 299
Sarah O’Hare

29 It Is a Q of Life: Q as a Nietzschean Figure 308
Charles Taliaferro and Bailey Wheelock

30 A God Needs Compassion, but Not a Starship: Star Trek’s Humanist Theology 315
James F. McGrath

31 “The Human Adventure Is Just Beginning”: Star Trek’s Secular Society 326
Kevin S. Decker

Contributors: Federation Ambassadors to Babel 340

Index 349

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Author Information

Kevin S. Decker is Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Washington University, where he teaches ethics, American and Continental philosophy, and philosophy of popular culture. He is co-editor of Philosophy and Breaking Bad (2016) and Who is Who? The Philosophy of Doctor Who (2013). He is co-editor, with Jason T. Eberl, of The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), Star Trek and Philosophy (2008), and Star Wars and Philosophy (2005).

Jason T. Eberlis the Semler Endowed Chair for Medical Ethics and Professor of Philosophy at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he teaches bioethics, ethics, and medieval philosophy. He has edited or contributed to books on Battlestar Galactica, Sons of Anarchy, Metallica, Terminator, The Hunger Games, The Big Lebowski, Stanley Kubrick, J.J. Abrams, and Avatar. His most recent books are The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae (2015) and The Philosophy of Christopher Nolan (2016). He is co-editor, with Kevin S. Decker, of The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), Star Trek and Philosophy (2008), and Star Wars and Philosophy (2005).
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