Sunday, May 19 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Science Fiction as Philosophy

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Much speculative fiction explores philosophical themes such as personal identity, the nature of utopia, the nature of consciousness, and the ethics of future technology.  Often it succeeds best in these aims when it draws on philosophical resources in a well-informed way.  One example is the popular, Hugo-award-winning TV series The Good Place, which features a philosophy professor and other characters attempting to learn ethics in the afterlife.  The Matrix, West World, Arrival, Her, Ex Machina, and Black Mirror are other examples of films and TV series whose philosophical themes have been central to their popular success.  Speculative fiction novelists and short-story writers who centrally incorporate philosophical themes in their work with popular success include Ursula K. LeGuin, Philip K. Dick, Ted Chiang, Stanislaw Lem, Greg Egan, and Neal Stephenson.  


Eric Schwitzgebel

Professor of Philosophy, UC Riverside

avatar for S.B. Divya

S.B. Divya

Author, Editor
S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma. She is the Hugo and Nebula nominated author of Runtime and co-editor of Escape Pod, with Mur Lafferty. Her short stories have been published at various magazines including Analog, Uncanny, and tor.com, and her... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman is the author of the NYT bestselling YA fantasy SERAPHINA and its sequel SHADOW SCALE. Her most recent book, TESS OF THE ROAD, was just nominated for the Andre Norton and Lodestar Awards. Rachel lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada. In her free time she sings... Read More →

Sunday May 19, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
I/J Salon

Attendees (63)