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Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy

Auteur(s): The Great Courses
Durée: 13 h et 31 min
5 out of 5 stars (73 évaluations)

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Description

The science fiction genre has become increasingly influential in mainstream popular culture, evolving into one of the most engaging storytelling tools we use to think about technology and consider the shape of the future. Along the way, it has also become one of the major lenses we use to explore important philosophical questions.

The origins of science fiction are most often thought to trace to Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, a story born from a night of spooky tale-telling by the fireside that explores scientific, moral, and ethical questions that were of great concern in the 19th century - and that continue to resonate today. And, although novels and short stories built the foundations of science fiction, film and television have emerged as equally powerful, experimental, and enjoyable ways to experience the genre. Even as far back as the silent era, films like Fritz Lang's Metropolis have used science fiction to tell stories that explore many facets of human experience.

In Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy David Kyle Johnson, of King's College, takes you on a 24-lecture exploration of the final frontiers of philosophy across several decades of science fiction in film and television. From big-budget blockbusters to television series featuring aliens in rubber masks, Professor Johnson finds food for philosophical thought in a wide range of stories. By looking at serious questions through astonishing tales and astounding technologies, you will see how science fiction allows us to consider immense, vital - and sometimes controversial - ideas with a rare combination of engagement and critical distance. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.  

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

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Ce que les auditeurs disent de Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy

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Au global
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved this Course!

I have been on audible for a couple years now and have listened to close to 50 audiobooks (most of them very good) but this is the first time that I have felt compelled to leave a review. This course was incredibly fascinating and I loved all the references to favorite shows and episodes. I recommend it highly, though I admit that I do so for completely selfish reasons. If it becomes popular enough maybe Great Courses will decide to do a sequel!

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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A great course

Thank you Professor Johnson. You have definitely blown my mind with the topics covered in your course. I need to go back and take my time to listen to this course again. There is so much information to process and to be honest I found the course to be so stimulating at times that I wanted to quit my job and devote my life to the pursuit of truth. I look forward to listening to your audiobook again and again and hope that the Great Courses will have you back. I promise that I won't be hasty and quit my job, but, I think I've found a new side hustle. Thank you very much for your efforts. Cheers!

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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To Be and Beyond, what is Science

I loved this. I loved this so so much. I love using science fiction stories to explain historical philosophical theories. I feel like they can explain them better than what options were historically used at contemporary times because what we know is not always the same that they expected. It was awesome, I want a lot more of these.

#Audible1

5 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Sci Fi Nerd Course loved it!

This philosophy course was very good and each lecture was tied to the philosophy of a film or two. Helps when you have seen almost sll yhe movies in 38 lectures haha? he mentions a 1979 russian film at the end called Stalker gotta order that maybe!

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
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Fantastic

This is a great lecture series that truly delves into the philosophical meaning and interpretation of various works. If you are a Sci-Fi nerd or even someone just interested in philosophy I highly recommend.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
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very contemporary!

liked this, talks about scifi cartoons as contempory classics. prof is funny and relatable.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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love it!

Interesting point of view; worth listening! Just try to be fair; Big Bang theory is more associated with Christianity via Georges Lemaître (a Jesuit-educated Belgian Catholic priest, mathematician, astronomer, and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Louvain), than, as Professor David K. Johnson states, Stephen Hawking. Continuing his subtle leftist propaganda, the author thinks that America First is fascistic! As opposed to what: the Marxist "International with be the new world?" Lived that philosophy that turned my beautiful country into, to quate someone, a sh%&hole country!

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Best mashup ever! This course is a gem.

Whether you're a sci-fi nerd, armchair philosopher, (or like me, both!), this course is gold. Not only Prof Johnson engaging, knowledgeable and funny, but the accompanying PDF guidebook gives a well-laid-out summary of each module.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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David K Johnson is my favourite GC presenter

I really enjoy Johnson’s geeky humour and presentation style. He never really raises or drops his voice — i.e. his delivery is usually very equal and thus requires no fiddling with volume — and while that may seem to be a minor issue I find it very refreshing.
He’s quite erudite and obviously well versed in more than just academic subjects.
This lecture does replicate some information in his other two courses but he’s so entertaining that it still seems fresh.
Please, Great Courses, encourage this man to make more offerings! I will buy them ALL!

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Why? Why not?

Philosophy is more interesting than one may consider. Throw in scifi as examples any it is amazing.

Using scifi as a back drop to try to answer some of life's great questions it brilliant. Oh course I suppose one must be a scifi fan to truly see the point of the comparison.

I don't thing you have to be a scifi fan to truly appreciate these lectures however.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcos Trujillo Cue
  • 2018-06-14

It only scratches the surface

It only scratches the surface of what the topic could yield, but the professor's time is clearly restrained as he mentions at the end of the course. If you're new to the concept of philosophy and are a science fiction buff the course is definitely worth it.

12 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-02

such a geeky arm chair philosopher's jam. loved it

This is such a geeky arm chair philosopher's jam. I loved it, it informs on multiple levels and is interesting.

6 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
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  • criticaltom
  • 2018-08-06

Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together ...

From Orson Scott Card I learned to call science fiction and fantasy "speculative literature." Thus it is probably from my life long love of science fiction that I also developed a keen interest in philosophy. Both stimulate the mind and push us into the realm of "what if?"; not always for the sake of escapism, but often for the sake of speculating about many issues that face humanity now and always. You can imagine, then, what a boon it was for me to find this new series of lectures by David Kyle Johnson of King's College (PA). Dr. Johnson delivers 24 thought-provoking lectures on important issues current in society that have been speculated on in science fiction movies, television, etc. The difficult issues and arguments--all handled thoroughly and in a balanced manner--are nicely illustrated by the references to science fiction. And as a bonus, I was more than once glad to receive a very convincing and clarifying interpretation of several of my favorites, including Inception and Metropolis. Any such lecture series is usually stronger or weaker by individual lectures, but these are pretty consistent throughout. Whether I agree totally or in part with Dr. Johnson's views, I have certainly enjoyed this stimulating course.

5 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marc
  • 2018-09-24

Fun to listen to, even with its limitations

This is one of the better "Great Courses" I have listened to - the lecturer turns his limited view (only US- and Britain based movies/TV series are considered "SF", the rest of the world is being completely ignored) into an advantage by assigning some more or less dull movies deeper meaning than even their directors probably ever thought of.

This I mean in the most respectful, positive way.

Yes, I would have wished for more respect to the often much older European or Russian stories that most of the movies the lecturer discusses are based on or developed of, especially when the lecturer claims those modern movies to be somewhat "original". But still, the philosophical questions, the lines of thought that the movies invite you to follow are interesting, fascinating, thrilling. No matter who came up first with the ideas.
I really enjoyed the mostly up-to-date state of the course with respect to physics and philosophy. Most "Great" Courses I
listened to sound like 50 years behind, not taking in any development in their respective field that has happened after the Americas have been rediscovered (I am, slightly, exaggerating).
Instead, this course takes place "today" (2018 that is, for any reader from the future), mentions current views on quantum physics, probabilities, recent discussions in philosophy and history. That I really appreciate.

I liked most of the narration, subtracting one star for the fact that the narrator *is* the professor who created the course and his "ignorance" of, sometimes, "better" approaches to the topics he discusses outside the (originally) English speaking world and his neglecting of SF books (which, in my world, often are more consistent and believable, as they don't have to cater that much to an audience with an attention span of 7 seconds like some observers consider movie audiences to have).

The major critic I have about the content ("Story" in Audible's stars-bar) is that quite often the lecturer does not discuss obvious flaws in philosophical ideas or thought experiments he presents. In that respect, he is TOO MUCH movie/show-centered: As long as the action works, don't care about the story. No, with philosophy, the action should be third, not first.
A simple example (and really just one of many) is the "20% probability of us living in a simulated world". Even if this is excused to be a subjective probability, its explanation doesn't hold up, since most "possible states we live in" are objectively identical or overlap. Not only sets that the calculation plain wrong, but it also diminishes the plausibility and believability of the argument. It's not that the thought is *wrong*, but if you want to turn a thought into an argument, it should hold enough water.

Again, in sum, this is definitely one of the better Great Courses, well worth the time and triggering interest in looking into philosophy authors mentioned throughout the discussions. Just don't think this course can make those movies better. Read a book instead.

9 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 2018-06-11

Very good, extensive survey, well told

I really enjoyed this well-told survey of common themes in science fiction. The author/professor does a great job of presenting both or multiple sides of philosophical arguments fully, except for one key area. It's almost forgivable considering the work he does in all the other areas. The course comes with lengthy notes in a nicely published and organized PDF.

3 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kayleigh Thesenvitz
  • 2018-06-09

A lot to think about

There was so much good content I listened almost non-stop. Please bring this professor back and do more.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brad
  • 2018-07-07

Nerd, Defined.

Our professor professes to be a Science Fiction nerd; and he is. What you must know before you purchase: What is a Science Fiction Nerd? Science Fiction Nerds don't read any Science Fiction. I did not know this. In Nerd World, SF exists only on film ( this includes TV, obviously ). Nerd SF does not include any science fiction novels, short stories, novellas, etc, UNLESS the book has been adapted for film - and then, only the film adaptation is considered. Yes. The SF nerd is a very limited creature. They wanna watch. This will include zero SF novels. But boy oh boy, if your SF is "Star Wars" (meh), "Star Trek" (goofy), "Star Trek; Next Gen" (YAWN - they carpeted the Enterprise for this spin-off, perfect for lulling you to sleep). "Dr. Who" ( Not even shot with 35mm film. They used video tape. That's why "Dr. Who" looks just like General Hospital.

8 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • 2020-07-28

Let him do five more just like it!

Loved every minute of this, and will definitely check out his other philosophy and metaphysics courses. That said, this was just a taste of what could be explored here, and I hope to one day here lectures on Babylon 5, the Expanse, Dune, maybe Hyperion... the list is endless and the surface has barely been scratched. Highly recommend this course!

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel L. Scott Jr.
  • 2020-07-09

Philosophy and Science Fiction

This course is a must for lovers of science fiction. It deepens one’s understanding about the appeal of the genre and broadens her insight into the books and film she encounters in it.

My only complaint? The course was about film and didn’t really include sci-fi novels, in my opinion the best examples of the
science fiction corpus,

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-06-27

I love this one

It’s my favorite lecture series and I will listen to it again. I love philosophy and science fiction and that makes this so much more fun