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CFA: Science Fiction and Human Nature

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Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI) is having its 3rd annual undergraduate Philosophy and Pop Culture Conference on the theme Science Fiction and Human Nature April 29, 2017.

Undergraduate students interested in discussing how philosophy can clarify, critique, explain, or incorporate popular themes from science fiction (movies, video games, novels) are invited to submit an abstract (500 words).

Students are welcome to present a formal paper or lead a more informal discussion on a theme or topic related to philosophy and science fiction. Even those who are not presenting but who are interested in the topic are encouraged to attend.

Some possible topics for consideration include, but are not limited to, the following:

Is there a relationship between science and science fiction?
Is moral enhancement possible in the future?
Is the multiverse science or fiction?
What can science fiction teach us about artificial intelligence?
What is the appeal of dystopian fiction?
Do we have moral obligations to aliens (e.g. Star Trek’s Prime Directive)?
How has science fiction recast some of the central questions of philosophy?
How is God and/or religion depicted in science fiction (e.g., Dune)
Does science fiction shape our experience of the present and expectations for the future?

Abstract submissions should be sent in MS Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) to Dr. Robyn Gaier at rrgaier@viterbo.edu by March 22, 2017. Student abstracts should be submitted electronically as a separate attachment with only the title of the presentation, indication whether the presentation is a finished paper or work in progress, and abstract summary (up to 500 words). All personal information (student name, presentation title, institutional affiliation and contact information) should be provided in the e-mail text and not in the abstract attachment. Students will be notified of their acceptance by March 31.