Books  |    |  September 6, 2017

Science Fiction and the Moral Imagination: Visions, Minds, Ethics

By Russell Blackford.
Published by Springer.
204 pages.

In this highly original book, Russell Blackford discusses the intersection of science fiction and humanity’s moral imagination. With the rise of science and technology in the 19th century, and our continually improving understanding of the cosmos, writers and thinkers soon began to imagine futures greatly different from the present. Science fiction was born out of the realization that future technoscientific advances could dramatically change the world. Along with the developments described in modern science fiction – space societies, conscious machines, and upgraded human bodies, to name but a few – come a new set of ethical challenges and new forms of ethics. Blackford identifies these issues and their reflection in science fiction. His fascinating book will appeal to anyone with an interest in philosophy or science fiction, or in how they interact.

  • A remarkable investigation of possible futures and the ethical challenges they pose
  • Uses fictional scenarios to address deep questions whose implications may be relevant sooner than we think
  • A beautifully written and thoughtful book by an esteemed author

Series: Science and Fiction

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Science and the Rise of Science Fiction
  • Science Fiction: A Short History of a Literary Genre
  • Morality, Science Fiction, and Enabling Form
  • Future and Alien Moralities
  • Technophiles, Technophobes, and Renegades
  • Aliens, Robots, Mutants, and Others
  • Going Inward: Science Fiction and Human Enhancement
  • Conclusion: Great Power and Great Responsibility

About the Author
Russell Blackford is an Australian writer, philosopher, and literary critic, based in Newcastle, NSW. He is Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, a regular op.ed. columnist with Free Inquiry, and a Laureate of the International Academy of Humanism. From 2004-2009 he taught a wide range of subjects in the philosophy and bioethics curriculum at Monash University. In addition to several novels, he is author of several acclaimed nonfiction books including Humanity Enhanced (MIT Press, 2014).