Monday, November 04, 2013

Book Review: Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant!

After reviewing Frankenstein and Philosophy: The Shocking Truth! some time back, the publisher offered to send me some additional books in their pop culture and psychology series, and this was the first book of the two they sent that I read. As I noted when reviewing that first book, I'd read one other pop culture and philosophy book prior to that.

I should have mentioned before that most of my knowledge of philosophy and philosophers comes from the Monty Python "Bruce's Philosopher's Song," so I didn't come to these books with much in the way of preconceptions as to what to expect.

Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant was a much more enjoyable read for me than the previous book, as it covers all of the Star Trek TV series (aside from the animated one). This broader range of subject matter provides for a greater variety in the various essays.

Among the topics written about are: a comparison of human and Vulcan philosophy; Ferengi philosophy; whether one should consider Odo (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) should be considered a co-conspirator with the Cardassians; various aspects of Klingon culture; and various aspects of whether the various androids (from the original series to Data) could be considered to be persons or not.

Compare this to the Frankenstein volume, where several chapters focus on the same parts of the original novel, and it's easy to see why I enjoyed this one much more.

If you're a fan of any of the various Star Trek series, and want to learn more about the human condition as presented on those shows as well as through philosophy, I would readily recommend this book. The writing is livelier, and just plain more fun to read.

1 comment:

  1. No reference to the animated series? That's too bad. I'm entirely sincere when I say that the animated Trek raised some of the most interesting philosophical questions of any incarnation of Star Trek.


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