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

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-20
  • Publisher: Wiley
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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 intentioneda defense projectgoing 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, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Rise of the Philosophersp. 1
Life After Humanity and Artificial Intelligence
The Terminator Wins: Is the Extinction of the Human Race the End of People, or Just the Beginning?p. 7
True Man or Tin Man? How Descartes and Sarah Connor Tell a Man from a Machinep. 21
It Stands to Reason: Skynet and Self-Preservationp. 39
Un-Terminated: The Integration of the Machinesp. 52
Women and Revolutionaries
"I Know Now Why You Cry": Terminator 2, Moral Philosophy, and Feminismp. 69
Sarah Connor's Stainp. 82
James Cameron's Marxist Revolutionp. 93
Changing What's Already Happened
Bad Timing: The Metaphysics of the Terminatorp. 109
Time for the Terminator: Philosophical Themes of the Resistancep. 122
Changing the Future: Fate and the Terminatorp. 133
Judgment Day Is Inevitable: Hegel and the Futility of Trying to Change Historyp. 146
The Ethics of Termination
What's So Terrible about Judgment Day?p. 161
The War to End All Wars? Killing Your Defense Systemp. 175
Self-Termination: Suicide, Self-Sacrifice, and the Terminatorp. 190
What's So Bad about Being Terminated?p. 202
Should John Connor Save the World?p. 218
Beyond the Neural Net
"You Gotta Listen to How People Talk": Machines and Natural Languagep. 239
Terminating Ambiguity: The Perplexing Case of "The"p. 253
Wittgenstein and What's Inside the Terminator's Headp. 266
Contributors: Future Leaders of the Resistancep. 279
Index: Skynet's Databasep. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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