In this assignment you explore a work of science fiction and its implicit and explicit commentary, positions, and attitudes about science and technology in contemporary (our) society. Many works of science fiction extrapolate from the current state and directions of science and technology as a way of observing and criticizing or valorizing it. Select from one of the novels or films below, read or watch it, and write a short paper in which you (1) describe what you think the author or filmmaker’s attitudes are about the types of science and technology portrayed and (2) respond to the author or filmmaker, indicating the ways that you agree or disagree with their views. Provide a bit of analysis. The subjects of some of these works are mentioned below. Is the piece utopian or dystopian? Are its depictions or implied commentaries on society fair? It is important that you bring in some of the concepts that you learned in the course. Is there an ethical question addressed in the work? Does the author or filmmaker answer the question? Do you have an answer? Many of the films or videos are available on streaming services. Select from one of these or propose one of your own, but please do not use a film shown in class… Frankenstein (film or Shelley novel). Anxieties about the power of science to mold life and nature including human nature Gattaca. Utopian HGE and genetics The Matrix. Humanity vs. its machines Logan’s Run. The duty to die Terminator. Humanity versus its creations, technologies Elysium. Class versus access to technology The Boys from Brazil. Cloning, eugenics, politics, fascism Coma. Black-market organ sales, commoditization of human body Extreme Measures. Informed consent, marginalization, economics of medical experimentation The Andromeda Strain (novel or film). Science out of control, virology, space exploration, excesses of science Outbreak. Viral infection, animals from Africa, the good of the many vs. the few (bomb the infected town?) The Farewell Party (Israeli, Hebrew w/ subtitles). Euthanasia Repo Men. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Markets for organ tissues & the horror of their repossession First Do No Harm. Medical professionals who discuss only the treatment options they favor. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. A Clockwork Orange. Science & creating morality; Neuroethics and the Neurobiology of Moral Responsibility (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., Drama (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Blade Runner. dystopian technofuture of synthetic humans District 9. Race (as aliens), class, & biotechnology The Day After. Ethics of war Brave New World (novel). Techno-fascism 12 Monkeys. Medical technology as salvation? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Medical technology intervening in human psychology and relationships Soylent Green. Food, agriculture, and the objectification of human life Westworld. Frankenstein in the form of androids Dirty Pretty Things. Commodification of the body and the political economy of immigration Repo! The Genetic Opera. Organ harvesting, commodification of the body Never Let Me Go, a novel about clones created to provide organs for wealthy people, by Kazuo Ishiguro Desirable Body, by Hubert Haddad, translated from the French by Alyson Waters. A novel about a head transplant patient’s experience; notably “Dr. Cadavero” is the “fame-hungry genius” who performs the operation! Humans (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., a British TV series that grapples with the question of whether synthetic humanoids must be given respect and rights. Watch at least the first few episodes. The paper should be a deep, extensive critical engagement with a text/film/issue from outside the course, significantly engages with concepts from the course, and perhaps additional concepts and themes in ethics, and applies them to an outside work on the scale of a 6-page or longer term paper.


We use cookies to give you the best experience. Cookie Policy

× How can I help you?