Dystopian Caves and Galactic Empires: Social and Political Philosophy in SF.
One of the main roles of science fiction has been to warn us – sometimes humorously, sometimes through grim pessimism – of looming social dangers, the product of particular ideas, technologies or social trends. Just how powerful these warnings can be in the public’s imagination may be gauged by the ubiquity of the expression “Big Brother” in political reflection. Occasionally, too, SF has been used to propose somewhat utopian forms of organization. The goal of our 2019 Yearly Theme is to promote a critical discussion of these themes. Are recent dystopian stories warning us about possible bias, or do they instead reinforce us in our blindspots? Are there to be found in SF particularly creative systems of social organization that might be worth exploring? What does SF have to say about the explosive use of big data in social vigilance and control? Above all, what does SF bring to this philosophical discussion that is particular to its own domain?
The Journal accepts papers year-round. The deadline for the second round of reviews for its yearly theme is February 1st, 2019.