Jurassic Park and Philosophy The Truth Is Terrifying

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/15/2014
  • Publisher: Open Court
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Twenty-one philosophers investigate the implications of the Jurassic Park franchise for our lives, our values, and our future. Human beings live and thrive by modifying nature, but when do the risks of changing nature outweigh the likely benefits? If it’s true that “Life will find a way,” should we view any modified or newly reconstituted life as a hazard? The new scientific information we could gain by bringing back T. Rex or other dinosaurs is immense, but should we choose to let sleeping dinosaurs lie? And if we do bring them back by reconstituting them from ancient DNA, are they really what they were, or is something missing? How do the different forces — human curiosity, profitability, and philanthropy — interact to determine what actually happens in such cases? What moral standards should be applied to those who try to bring back lost worlds? The idea of bringing back the dead and the powerful is not limited to biological species. It also applies to bringing back old gods, old philosophies, old institutions, and old myths. If revived and once again let loose to walk the Earth, these too may turn out to be more dangerous than we bargained for.

Author Biography

Nicolas Michaud is an assistant professor of philosophy at Florida State College, Jacksonville, and the editor of Frankenstein and Philosophy. Jessica Watkins is a contributor to Ender's Game and Philosophy. Both live in Jacksonville, FL.

Table of Contents

Life Finds a Way

I. Conceptualizing the Impossible

1. Don’t Be Afraid of the Paradox Rex
Michael Muniz

2. The Manchurian Compsognathus
Timothy Sexton

3. Genes and Memes: Evolution and Engineering in Jurassic Park
Brendan Shea

4. Skepticism and the Dream of Jurassic Park
Daniel Wanless

II. Generating the Impossible

5. Dino-Souls: A Dialogue on the Ethics of Animal Cloning
Nathan Verbann and Adam Barkman

6. Rape of the Natural World”: Yes, We Can; But, Should We?
Christian Cotton

7. All the Dinosaurs Are Dead and Gone: Plato, Darwin and the Problem of De-Extinction
Evan Edwards

8. Reconstructing the Past in a Petri Dish
David Freeman

9. Let the Raptors Run
Greg Littmann

III. Acting on the Impossible

10. Wiggin’ Out in Wittgenstein’s World
Skyler King

11. Saving Your Skin: How to Treat Dinosaurs
Roger Hunt

12. ‘If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed?’ Velociraptor Rights
John V. Karavitis

13. Hammond’s Backup Plan: Monkeywrenching and Dino-Liberation in The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Seth M. Walker

IV. The Appearance of Error

14. An Alien Consciousness
Christopher Ketcham

15. Descent into Chaos
David Morgan

16. The Crisis of Fake Dinosaurs
Brandon Kempner

17. Do Dinosaurs Dream of Electric Fences?
Rick Stoody

V. The Collapse of the System

18. Biting a Chunk Out of Aristotle
Daniel Kokotz

19. You Can't Just Suppress Sixty-five Million Years of Gut Instinct, but Can We Suppress the Last Five Hundred Years’ Worth?
Trip McCrossin

20. How a Tyrannosaurus Swallowed My Pride
Michael D. Stark and A.G. Holdier

21. Tyrannosaurus Kant
Tim Jones

Author Bios

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