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Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture #13: Terminator and Philosophy: I'll Be Back, Therefore I Amby William Irwin
Synopses & Reviews
Are cyborgs our friends or our enemies?
Was it morally right for Skynet to nuke us?
Is John Connor free to choose to defend humanity, or not?
Is Judgment Day inevitable?
The Terminator series is one of the most popular sci-fi franchises ever created, captivating millions with its edgy depiction of the struggle of humankind for survival against its own creations. This book draws on some of history's philosophical heavy hitters: Descartes, Kant, Karl Marx, and many more. Nineteen leather-clad chapters target with extreme prejudice the mysteries surrounding intriguing philosophical issues raised by the Terminator series, including the morality of terminating other people for the sake of peace, whether we can really use time travel to protect our future resistance leaders in the past, and if Arnold's famous T-101 is a real person or not. You'll say "Hasta la vista, baby" to philosophical confusion as you develop a new appreciation for the complexities of John and Sarah Connor and the battles between Skynet and the human race.
A timely book that uses science fiction to provoke reflection and discussion on philosophical issues
From the nature of mind to the ethics of AI and neural enhancement, science fiction thought experiments fire the philosophical imagination, encouraging us to think outside of the box about classic philosophical problems and even to envision new ones. Science Fiction and Philosophy explores puzzles about virtual reality, transhumanism, whether time travel is possible, the nature of artificial intelligence, and topics in neuroethics, among other timely issues. This thought-provoking volume is suitable for students and general readers but also examines new and more advanced topics of interest to seasoned philosophers and scientists.
Susan Schneider (Hometown TK) is Assistant Professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and an Affiliated Faculty Member at the Institutes for Research in Cognitive Science and Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.
"The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present."
Terminatoris among the most popular sci-fi storylines and movie franchises ever created. A terminator--a seemingly unstoppable cyborg assassin--is sent back from the future by a race of artificially intelligent computer-controlled machines bent on the extermination of the human race. Terminator and Philosophywill look at the philosophically puzzling questions about the grandfather paradox and whether or not we can change our future by killing Sarah Connor, the ethics of war and artificial intelligence, saving John Connor and causality, John Connor and the Terminator as a father figure, and much more.
About the Author
RICHARD BROWN is an assistant professor at LaGuardia Community College's Philosophy and Critical Thinking Program in New York City.
KEVIN S. DECKER is an assistant professor of philosophy at Eastern Washington University. He coedited Star Wars and Philosophy and Star Trek and Philosophy.
WILLIAM IRWIN is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including Batman and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Watchmen and Philosophy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Rise of the Philosophers.
I. LIFE AFTER HUMANITY AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
Chapter 1: The Terminator Wins: Is the Extinction of the Human Race the End of People, or Just the Beginning? (Greg Littmann).
Chapter 2: True Man or Tin Man? How Descartes and Sarah Connor Tell a Man from a Machine (George Dunn).
Chapter 3: It Stands to Reason: Skynet and Self-Preservation (Josh Weisberg).
Chapter 4: Un-Terminated: The Integration of the Machines (Jesse W. Butler).
II. WOMEN AND REVOLUTIONARIES.
Chapter 5: "I Know Now Why You Cry": Terminator 2, Moral Philosophy, and Feminism (Harry Chotiner).
Chapter 6: Sarah Connor’s Stain (Jennifer Culver).
Chapter 7: James Cameron’s Marxist Revolution (Jeffrey Ewing).
III. CHANGING WHAT’S ALREADY HAPPENED.
Chapter 8: Bad Timing: The Metaphysics of The Terminator (Robert Delfino and Kenneth Sheahan).
Chapter 9: Time for the Terminator: Philosophical Themes of the Resistance (Justin Leiber).
Chapter 10: Changing the Future: Fate and the Terminator (Kristie Lynn Miller).
Chapter 11: Judgment Day is Inevitable: Hegel and the Futility of Changing History (Jason Blahuta).
IV. THE ETHICS OF TERMINATION.
Chapter 12: What’s So Terrible About Judgment Day? (Wayne Yuen).
Chapter 13: The War to End All Wars? Killing Your Defense System (Phillip Seng).
Chapter 14: Self-Termination: Suicide, Self-Sacrifice, and the Terminator (Daniel P. Malloy).
Chapter 15: What’s So Bad about Being Terminated (Jason T. Eberl).
Chapter 16: Should John Connor Save the World? (Peter Fosl).
V. BEYOND THE NEURAL NET.
Chapter 17: "You Gotta Listen to How People Talk": Machines and Natural Language (Jacob Berger and Kyle Ferguson).
Chapter 18: Terminating Ambiguity: The Perplexing Case of "The" (Richard Brown).
Chapter 19: Wittgenstein and What’s Inside the Terminator’s Head (Antti Kuusela).
Future Leaders of the Resistance.
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