Welcome to PHI 361

This is the home page for Philosophy 361, “Philosophy in Science Fiction”, last taught in the Fall 2018 semester by Professor Ron McClamrock of the University at Albany Department of Philosophy. It will likely be taught again in the 2020-1 academic year.

There’s a syllabus for this course here.

The course description:

An examination of some central issues in philosophy, using the occurrence of those issues in science fiction as a starting point. Topics to be covered will likely include the following: Can machines think? Through what changes can our self-identity persist? What kinds of beings count as persons? Is time-travel possible? Could the world be a huge illusion? This course will focus primarily on the traditional philosophical issues raised in science fiction rather than on the science fiction itself as literary or cinematic. But the settings for framing these problems will come from science fiction readings, movies, and television.