Philosophy Through Science Fiction
Liz Stillwaggon Swan thinks through sci fi.
As a philosophy teacher, I frequently find myself devoting quite a bit of time and energy, especially in my introductory courses, to getting students to understand that philosophy is a different sort of intellectual activity which will require of them a new kind of thinking. I consider myself successful in this endeavor if, during the semester, some of them stop asking the “Is this going to be on the test?”-type question and begin to try and articulate original questions about the nature of reality, mind, God, and their place in the world. In the quest to put students on the philosophical path of seeking insight on their own, it is essential to have an imaginative, insightful and fun coursebook. Nichols’ et al’s new book, Philosophy Through Science Fiction, is a delightful way to get uninitiated students to engage with philosophical ideas and concepts for the first time. The genre of science fiction has a long, rich history of tackling scientific concepts and theories and their attendant philosophical problems often before science itself does.