Science fiction at its best confronts us with situations so new and outside our ordinary ways of thinking about the world that it is a natural source of puzzlement and questioning. In this course, we will wrangle with a range of philosophical questions prompted by both classic and recent stories from Star Trek. Can artificial beings (like Data, or Voyager’s Doctor) really count as people in the same way that biological beings (like humans, Vulcans, and Klingons) are? When Riker gets split in a transporter accident, which of the two resulting people –or neither –is really Riker?
Each 2.5-hour class will incorporate episode viewings, lecture, and group discussion.
The course will be taught by Jonathan M. Weinberg, a professor of philosophy and cognitive science in the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ Department of Philosophy.
This is a rental of The Loft Cinema, presented by The University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.