I’m not quite sure that I’d count it as “living” forever, but nonetheless the idea of uploading your mind to a computer so that it carries on indefinitely has an awful lot of people excited. Hopes and Fears interviews Professor Pete Mandik to get the scoop on this “trend”:
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Science fiction has long been influenced by philosophy. Sadly, the inverse doesn’t seem to happen nearly enough.
Works as diverse as The Matrix (Descartes, Baudrillard), Neon Genesis Evangelion (Schopenhauer, Hegel, Kierkegaard), Frankenstein (Darwin, the Enlightenment) and Labyrinth (Berkeley, Leibniz, Pascal) have come to spread philosophical theory through mainstream culture like wildfire. They’ve all drawn narrative and artistic strength from treating philosophical subjects seriously. Not to mention sci-fi scribes like Stanislaw Lem and Philip K. Dick having their own influence on metaphysics and epistemology or Ursula K. Le Guin and Aldous Huxley, on politics and ethics.
But philosophy rarely takes its influence from science fiction, a fact that distinguishes Pete Mandik, a professor at William Paterson University, from many of his contemporaries.