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Detailed Course Information

 

Fall 2017
Sep 24, 2017
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PHIL 180 - Philosophy & Star Trek
Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to do philosophy, but to watch Star Trek, read philosophy and hash it all out in class (and on Blackboard)? That’s the plan. This course will center on topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, we will read excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments and then analyze those arguments. Questions we will wrestle with include:
I. Is time travel possible? Could you go back and kill your grandmother? What is time?
II. What is the relation between your mind and your brain--are they separate items or identical? Can persons survive death? Could a machine someday think? Is Data a person?
III. What is a person? Must you have the same body to be you? Same memories? When do we have one person, and when do we have two (think of the episodes where people "split" or "fuse").
IV. Do you have free will, or are you determined by the laws of nature to do exactly what you wind up doing (while believing you have free will)? Or both? What is freewill?
Text: Metaphysics: Classic and Contemporary Readings, 2nd ed., Ed. by Hoy & Oaklander (Wadsworth, 2005). Three short papers, or two short papers and one presentation or debate.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours
0.000 Lab hours

Levels: Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture

Philosophy Department

Course Attributes:
SFS/CULP Social Science

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