Future developments in science and technology will pose unique moral challenges for humanity. Indeed, in fields like artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, it looks as if that is already happening. Serious science fiction can help us anticipate some of these oncoming moral issues, providing thought experiments about how to meet the challenges of the future. In this course, we will encounter such challenges, and we will ask whether we need moral innovation or a firmer grasp on perennial values.
Dr. Charles T. Rubin
Charles T. Rubin teaches political philosophy at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. Recent publications focus on converging technologies, and those who believe they should be used to redesign humanity, a topic he discusses in Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress (Encounter/New Atlantis Books, 2014). Dr. Rubin is also author of The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism (1994) and editor of Conservation Reconsidered: Nature, Virtue and American Liberal Democracy (2000). In 2017-18 he was a visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University, working on a book exploring what classic stories about human-created monsters tell us about the coming age of biotechnology. Other works in the field of literature and politics include studies of Henry Adams, Flannery O’Connor (with his wife Leslie G. Rubin), H.G. Wells, and contemporary author Neal Stephenson.
Rabbi Mendel Jacobson
Director, Truman Scholars Program