Teaching Firefly

  • James Rocha Fresno State
Keywords: Teaching Science Fiction, Libertarianism, Feminist Ethics


Philosophers often rely on their own examples and intuitions, which can be problematic since philosophers are a small group with their own set of biases and limitations. Science fiction can assist with this problem through the provision of examples that are both designed by non-philosophers and intended to be thought-provoking and plausible. In particular, when philosophers teach, we can use science fiction for examples that raise relevant issues in interesting contexts, while also being fully fleshed out. In this paper, I explain how I use Joss Whedon’s Firefly to teach political philosophy, ethics, and existentialism. I hope to show the usefulness of good science fiction for the purpose of teaching philosophy in new and engaging ways.

Author Biography

James Rocha, Fresno State
Philosophy Department, Assistant Professor
The Education Station: Teaching with SF