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Is Data Human? The Metaphysics of Star Trek
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Is Data Human? The Metaphysics of Star Trek

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  366 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Using examples from the shows, this witty and absorbing volume looks at the "Star Trek" series and explores a broad spectrum of philosophical ideas and theories, such as "personhood" the nature of a person, of minds, of consciousness and of the emotions; the nature and extent of knowledge and of free will; the nature of personal survival; the issue of what does or should ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 4th 1998 by Boxtree (first published June 1st 1997)
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 ·  366 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Alejandro
Metaphysics... the Final Frontier!


BOLDLY GOING WHERE NO METAPHYSIC...

While Star Trek is usually related to the technology aspects of life and what we'd able to achieve in the future. It's a franchise so diverse and with scripts for episodes so vast that they also approach the metaphysics aspects of life.

Data, he is android, so is he alive or not?

Is the Moriarty hologram, indeed a form of life?

Picard when Q presented him what his life could become taking other decisions, was he dead or not?

...more
Suzanne
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! My only complaint is that there wasn't more of it. I would love to read a revised edition. Or anything else he might want to write, really.

I thought the different topics he chose to dissect were probably the most interesting and relevant he could have chosen. Certainly they were topics that I, myself, as a lifelong Trek fan, have spent a lot of time thinking about over the years. His approach was appealing to me for that reason.

His intent seemed to be to explore
...more
Boyd
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I do not consider myself a Trekkie, I thought the arguments, in particular the one on artificial intelligence, and form and matter (when the characters are beamed up and down, is that really them?) makes for good philosophical discussion. When philosophy is used in popular culture, I always have much praise, as it can create an interest for those who may not read philosophy, or has an interest, but would not know where to begin.
Rex Libris
Jan 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would have thought two of my favorite subjects combined, philosophy and star trek, would be interesting. I was wrong. Reading this reminded me why getting out of the philosophy Ph.D program I was in was the best decision of my life.
Sean Hoade
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This kind of book makes me glad I majored in Philosophy -- ideas are selected from the series and movies and in-depth philosophical analysis is made of how these are executed. My brain feels very satisfied!
Carmen
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soft-sciences
This is pretty neat, I especially enjoyed the last chapters, on temporal distortions. The personhood discussion is interesting too.
Geoff Young
Raises interesting questions and posits possible answers on a variety of philosophical topics. A bit dry for my taste. Somewhat chilling epilogue warning of a movement toward anti-intellectualism that has only grown stronger in the decades since the book was written.
Ashley
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit, the constant use of "it" when referring to Data really bothered me.
Danni Green
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spaaaaaace
This book was a hoot and a half! I stopped to watch many of the episodes cited in the book as I was reading it, which made it even more interesting. It does lean pretty heavily on the Original Series and Next Generation episodes, with only a small handful of references to Deep Space 9 and Voyager, which was disappointing to me as a die-hard DS9 fan. Overall, I thought it was pretty cool to take a look at the Star Trek universe(s) from this philosophical perspective.
Karl
Jul 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book to really make you think about life in a different perspective. It gets into the soul and where it comes from, how tangible it is and if it should be messed with.
B
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read!
Eric
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beyond geeked out? Maybe, but it's an honest philosophical endeavor with an optimistic upshot.
John Hawkins
Get your geek on and read philosophical questions using the TV character from Star trek TNG, Data an innocent Android.
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Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delaware

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