Synopses & Reviews
For Trekkies everywhere, a fascinating look at the philosophy of Star Trek
, from Kirk and Spock to Janeway and Seven of Nine
For four decades, Star Trek has been the obsession of millions of fans. But real Trekkies know that the show is more than just riveting entertainment. Its complex moral dilemmas present a view of the future that holds important truths for us in the present. Drawing on episodes from all four Star Trek generations, this unique book explores the ethics of the series in relation to the theories of the world's great philosophers. Questions about good and evil, right and wrong, power and corruption are discussed in language that,is both readable and compelling as the authors show, how the program has evolved over the years to address society's changing values. For this century and beyond, The Ethics of "Star Trek" is an intriguing look at a brilliantly imagined-world and what it can teach us about how to live.
Beam Students Into Your Classroom
Dare to go where one professor has gone: a classroom packed with enthusiastic students
For 35 years, Star Trek has been a popular vehicle for exploring social issues. Its humanistic values and optimistic view of the future have inspired many young people, and the ethical dilemmas that drive much of its drama have provoked debate among generations of fans. One of the main reasons why Star Trek has endured is that most of the stories themselves are indeed moral dilemmas.
In The Ethics of Star Trek, students will examine four philosophical systems (Aristotelian virtue, Kant's duty theory, existentialism, and Platonic virtue) as they are embodied in the four Star Trek series.
Using examples from Plato, Aristotle, Sartre, and other great philosophers, The Ethics of Star Trek explores such timeless ethical questions as:
- Is good stronger than evil?
- If the Prime Directive is so inviolable, why does Kirk always seem to break it?
- Would Nietzsche have made a good starship captain?
- What's more important, the intentions behind our actions or the results we get?
- Does absolute power really corrupt absolutely? What would you do with the power of Q?
- How would Kant's insistence on autonomous altruism have affected the Federation's dealings with the Borg?
- Are rational beings the only life-forms entitled to our respect?
- What would it mean if, deep down, everyone really were a Ferengi?
Clearly explaining the ethical content of Star Trek's story lines, philosophy professor Judith Barad, Ph.D., presents a thorough survey of Western philosophy.
Join her as she takes the complex, intriguing, and often confusing subject of ethics and makes it practical, understandable, and accessible for your students.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -358) and index.
About the Author
Judith Barad, Ph.D., is chairperson and professor of philosophy at indiana State University, where she teaches ethics courses and acourse on the philosophy of Star Trek. She is the author of several scholarly articles as well as two books. A Chicago native, she shares her Terre Haute, Indiana, home with her husband, daughter, and grandson.Ed Robertson writes extensively about popular culture. He has written three books on classic television and has appeared on more than sixty-five radio and television shows as an expert guest in this area. He lives in San Francisco.
Table of Contents
Pt. 1. Beginning the ethical enterprise -- Pt. 2. Ancient Greek and Roman morality in the Star Trek future -- Pt. 3. Christianity and contracts -- Pt. 4. When duty calls -- Pt. 5. Receptacles, responsibility, and reconciliation.