Terminator and Philosophy: I'll Be Back, Therefore I Am

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned-a defense project-going wrong, but none of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines, concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.
—Leslie Armour

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470447987
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/20/2009
  • Series: Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series , #13
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,388,758
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet 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.

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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.

Skynet’s Database.

Index.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    ?

    This i s awesome

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun Times

    As a fan of the franchise I was really excited to read this - the editorial reviews cover the topics involved which ranged from the impossibility of Kyle Reese being John Conner's father to the complexity of programing a machine capable of interacting via human language complete with its nuances, semantics and what not...
    Overall it was very enjoyable, the collection of authors all have very engaging styles which helps with some potentially dry subject matter (I mean, the fact that its all about The Terminator also helps, but still...). These essays are written by people who know and like the movies and the series, they have fun with it while still respecting the material ^_~
    The only thing that made me kind of sad, aside from the almost headache I got trying to understand the physics of time travel, was that the book was published before Terminator Salvation was released - so there were some interesting questions of humanity that could have gained a little more working material with that film.

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    Posted July 6, 2009

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    Posted November 24, 2010

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    Posted June 7, 2009

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