Science Fiction and Philosophy
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Science Fiction and Philosophy : From Time Travel to Superintelligence

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Description

Featuring numerous updates and enhancements, Science Fiction and Philosophy, 2nd Edition, presents a collection of readings that utilize concepts developed from science fiction to explore a variety of classic and contemporary philosophical issues. * Uses science fiction to address a series of classic and contemporary philosophical issues, including many raised by recent scientific developments * Explores questions relating to transhumanism, brain enhancement, time travel, the nature of the self, and the ethics of artificial intelligence * Features numerous updates to the popular and highly acclaimed first edition, including new chapters addressing the cutting-edge topic of the technological singularity * Draws on a broad range of science fiction s more familiar novels, films, and TV series, including I, Robot, The Hunger Games, The Matrix, Star Trek, Blade Runner, and Brave New World * Provides a gateway into classic philosophical puzzles and topics informed by the latest technology
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 20mm | 544g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 2nd Edition
  • 1118922611
  • 9781118922613
  • 551,023

Back cover copy

"What are consciousness and free will? Will artificial beings have them? Do we? And do we owe an ethical debt to future generations, even if they wear quite different bodies, or minds? These, and countless other questions first raised by a century's worth of canonical science fiction, are now ambitiously appraised by Susan Schneider in a volume that explores our philosophical frontier."

David Brin, astrophysicist and Times best-selling author of The Postman and Earth

"Susan Schneider has assembled an incredibly wide range of stimulating and accessible thoughts in these pages. The second edition of Science Fiction and Philosophy will fascinate anyone who enjoys thinking 'outside of the box' - though it might leave their minds in a whirl!"

Martin Rees, UK Astronomer Royal

Thought experiments inspired by science fiction have been firing the philosophical imagination for centuries, offering meaningful insights into ethical quandaries, the notion of free will, and the very nature of our existence. Highly acclaimed upon its initial release, this second edition of Science Fiction and Philosophy presents an updated collection of readings that utilize concepts developed from science fiction to explore a variety of classic and contemporary philosophical issues - from the nature of minds and puzzles about virtual reality to the possibility of time travel and the unforeseen consequences of artificial intelligence. Featuring numerous updates, it also includes provocative new readings that address cutting-edge issues such as transhumanism and the so-called technological singularity, the hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence. Meaningful philosophical questions are raised while drawing on the genre's most intriguing stories, novels, and films - everything from Brave New World and Blade Runner to The Matrix and The Hunger Games. As the convergence of science fiction with modern technology draws ever closer, Science Fiction and Philosophy, Second Edition offers invaluable insights into both classic philosophical ideas and the future of humanity itself.

Susan Schneider is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Connecticut, USA, and a faculty member in the Technology and Ethics Group at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. She is the author of The Language of Thought: A New Philosophical Direction (2011) and the co-editor of The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness (with Max Vellmans, 2006).
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Table of contents

Introduction Thought Experiments: Science Fiction as a Window into Philosophical Puzzles 1 Susan Schneider Part I Could I Be in a Matrix or Computer Simulation? Related Works: The Matrix; Avatar; Ender s Game; The Hunger Games; Simulacron ]3; Ubik; Tron; Permutation City; Vanilla Sky; Total Recall 17 1 Reinstalling Eden: Happiness on a Hard Drive 19 Eric Schwitzgebel and R. Scott Bakker 2 Are You in a Computer Simulation? 22 Nick Bostrom 3 Plato s Cave. Excerpt from The Republic 26 Plato 4 Some Cartesian thought Experiments. Excerpt from The Meditations on First Philosophy 30 Rene Descartes 5 The Matrix as Metaphysics 35 David J. Chalmers Part II What Am I? Free Will and the Nature of Persons Related Works: Moon; Software; Star Trek, The Next Generation: Second Chances; Mindscan; The Matrix; Diaspora; Blindsight; Permutation City; Kiln People; The Gods Themselves; Jerry Was a Man; Nine Lives; Minority Report 55 6 Where Am I? 57 Daniel C. Dennett 7 Personal Identity 69 Eric Olson 8 Divided Minds and the Nature of Persons 91 Derek Parfit 9 Who Am I? What Am I? 99 Ray Kurzweil 10 Free Will and Determinism in the World of Minority Report 104 Michael Huemer 11 Excerpt from The Book of Life: A Thought Experiment 114 Alvin I. Goldman Part III Mind: Natural, Artificial, Hybrid, and Superintelligent Related Works: Transcendence; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Humans; Blade Runner; AI; Frankenstein; Accelerando; Terminator; I, Robot; Neuromancer; Last and First Men; His Master s Voice; The Fire Upon the Deep; Solaris; Stories of your Life 117 12 Robot Dreams 119 Isaac Asimov 13 A Brain Speaks 125 Andy Clark 14 Cyborgs Unplugged 130 Andy Clark 15 Superintelligence and Singularity 146 Ray Kurzweil 16 The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis 171 David J. Chalmers 17 Alien Minds 225 Susan Schneider Part IV Ethical and Political Issues Related Works: Brave New World; Ender s Game; Johnny Mnemonic; Gattaca; I, Robot; Terminator; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Mindscan; Autofac; Neuromancer; Planet of the Apes; Children of Men; Nineteen Eighty ]Four; Player Piano; For a Breath I Tarry; Diamond Age 243 18 The Man on the Moon 245 George J. Annas 19 Mindscan: Transcending and Enhancing the Human Brain 260 Susan Schneider 20 The Doomsday Argument 277 John Leslie 21 The Last Question 279 Isaac Asimov 22 Asimov s Three Laws of Robotics and Machine Metaethics 290 Susan Leigh Anderson 23 The Control Problem. Excerpts from Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies 308 Nick Bostrom Part V Space and Time Related Works: Interstellar; Twelve Monkeys; Slaughterhouse ]Five; All You Zombies; The Time Machine; Back to the Future; Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions; Anathem 331 24 A Sound of Thunder 333 Ray Bradbury 25 Time 343 Theodore Sider 26 The Paradoxes of Time Travel 357 David Lewis 27 The Quantum Physics of Time Travel 370 David Deutsch and Michael Lockwood 28 Miracles and Wonders: Science Fiction as Epistemology 384 Richard Hanley Appendix: Philosophers Recommend Science Fiction 393 Eric Schwitzgebel Index 410
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Review Text

"What are consciousness and free will? Will artificial beings have them? Do we? And do we owe an ethical debt to future generations, even if they wear quite different bodies, or minds? These, and countless other questions first raised by a century's worth of canonical science fiction, are now ambitiously appraised by Susan Schneider in a volume that explores our philosophical frontier."
David Brin, astrophysicist and Times best-selling author of The Postman and Earth
"Susan Schneider has assembled an incredibly wide range of stimulating and accessible thoughts in these pages. The second edition of Science Fiction and Philosophy will fascinate anyone who enjoys thinking 'outside of the box'--though it might leave their minds in a whirl!"
Martin Rees, 'UK Astronomer Royal'
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Review quote

"Schneider's anthology, as it stands, is a great introduction to many of the fundamental theoretical issues raised by SF. Each topic is covered with a panel of accessible texts. One will also appreciate the presence of several short stories and references to related works of SF in every section of the book." (Metapsychology online reviews 2016)
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About Susan Schneider

Susan Schneider is a Philosophy Professor at the University of Connecticut and a Fellow with the American Council of Learned Societies. She is the author of The Language of Thought: a New Philosophical Direction (2011) and the co-author, with Max Velmans, of The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness (2006).
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Rating details

247 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 25% (62)
4 38% (95)
3 28% (69)
2 5% (13)
1 3% (8)
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