Judith Barad


The Ethics of Star Trek (2001)


The Ethics of Star Trek (2001) with Ed Robertson

Ethics of Star TrekThis book was definitely a disappointment. I’ve read The Physics of Star Trek and The Metaphysics of Star Trek both of which I found interesting. Perhaps because of this I had high hopes for this book. I was, unfortunately, disappointed.

The authors used specific episodes to outline specific ethical points. And to give them credit, they do over the major ethical theories, which is really what this book was about. It was far more a ethical theory primer than the discussion of ethics I thought it would be. They did towards the end discuss ethical situations to be found in the series, but most of the book focuses upon relating specific episodes to specific ethical theories. Interesting, but not fascinating.

Of course part of my bitterness towards this book may be the short shrift give to one of my favorite episodes, Deep Space Nine’s "In the Pale Moonlight." The episode (and justifiably so I admit) is used to explain utilitarianism. But from my perspective, the episode was far more than that, or the existentialism they also discussion.

Essentially I would have preferred an actual discussion of the ethical issues, rather than a primer on Ethics 101.