PHIL 154 - Science Fiction and Philosophy
Fall 2014, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Science fiction and philosophy are deeply linked through their common use of "thought experiments." Our main goal will be to motivate and explore philosophical questions by appeal to thought experiments from important works of science fiction. Our focus will be on normative theory, looking at themes related to moral and political philosophy. Some possible themes are: naturalness and its relation to goodness; various moral theories; freedom; equality; what we owe to others who disagree with us; who should have rights (ALL rational beings?); race, gender, and discrimination; how do dispose of an unjust government; relativism and tolerance; issues related to bioethics; the end of civilization; intergenerational justice; and punishment.

Course Requirements:

Student grades will be heavily based on preparation for and participation in class discussion (please note: attendance will be very important), and there will be 1-2 short papers and 1 longer paper.

Intended Audience:

No experience with philosophy is assumed

Class Format:

The format of the course will generally require that students complete 3-5 readings or videos on an assigned theme prior to every Monday meeting, some science fiction, some philosophy, and some related social science. We will then spend the week discussing that theme.


PHIL 154 - Science Fiction and Philosophy
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (LEC)
 In Person
9Y1 or Y2
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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