The Ethics of Star Trek by Judith Barad, Ph.D. with Ed Robertson
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 16 March 2013

The Ethics of Star Trek

Author: Judith Barad, Ph.D. with Ed Robertson

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

Using the philosophic and ethical teaching from the classical to the modern (Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, etc) Judith Barad, Ph.D. accesses the ethical stand point of Star Trek's humanist outlook on humanity. Using key episodes from all the franchise series as well as movies, she is better able to explain and highlight their ideas.

Unlike Lawrence M. Krauss' The Physics of Star Trek where the accuracy of the shows technology and lifeforms are dissected with reference to our understanding of science. The Ethics of Star Trek celebrated the use of these devices in order to encourage ethical discussion. For instance, devices such as the transporter splitting Captain Kirk into two, one full of courage and strength, the other full of fear and reason. Though perhaps not scientifically plausible, does help illustrate an ethical discussion on extremes and means, literally.

The book is primarily written for an audience who appreciate Star Trek and want a deeper understanding of the ethical stand point of the show's key stories. The addition of concise synopses for each episode discussed is a welcome revision and helps the reader who is perhaps more interested in the ethical discussion without being an big Trekkie.

I believe this book is superior to those similar in nature such as Star Trek and Philosophy because it is written as one continuous and naturally progressing narrative. Similar books tend to be collections of isolated essays which though still valid can be a disjointed read. I'd recommend this book highly, but only to those with an interest in well... The Ethics of Star Trek.