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Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast

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Meta Treks is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the philosophical ideas found in Star Trek. In each episode, Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison take you on a fascinating journey into the inner workings of Star Trek storytelling, deeper into subspace than you've ever traveled before.

Meta Treks is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the philosophical ideas found in Star Trek. In each episode, Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison take you on a fascinating journey into the inner workings of Star Trek storytelling, deeper into subspace than you've ever traveled before.
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Meta Treks is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the philosophical ideas found in Star Trek. In each episode, Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison take you on a fascinating journey into the inner workings of Star Trek storytelling, deeper into subspace than you've ever traveled before.

Twitter:

@trekfm

Language:

English


Episodes

77: Stewards of the Continuum

9/25/2017
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Property Ownership in Star Trek. There may be no money in the 24th century, at least not as we know it. And humankind may no longer be driven by the acquisition of material wealth. But what exactly do you do if you want to own one of those extra-special limited-vintage bottles of Chateau Picard? In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the philosophy and economics of property ownership in Star Trek. What role does property ownership play in a...

Duration: 01:30:53


76: Essential Ennui

8/14/2017
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Voyager Season 5 - Essential Trek Philosophy. If you've ever had the urge to replicate yourself some curtains when faced with a late-night existential crisis, then the fifth-season opener of Star Trek: Voyager, "Night" is for you! In "Night" we see perhaps the best example of ennui (boredom) in all of Star Trek, including some guilt-laden soul searching from Captain Janeway. But an existential crisis alone does not a season of Star Trek make. And Voyager season 5 is also filled with...

Duration: 01:35:27


75: Kindergarten Calculus

7/31/2017
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Star Trek Philosophy of Education. An advanced future civilization such as the United Federation of Planets would surely have an equally advanced educational system. After all, we are told in Star Trek: The Next Generation that 24th century schoolchildren learn calculus in grade school aboard the Enterprise! But other than an accelerated math curriculum, what are the defining characteristics of the educational system and the philosophy of education within in the Star Trek universe? In...

Duration: 01:41:31


74: Tell Me a Story

7/17/2017
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Narratives and Metanarratives in Star Trek. Throughout Western history, grand narratives, or metanarratives, have been used to define who we are and where we should be going as a people. These metanarratives have included things like the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, Democracy, Marxism, Emancipation, and many other competing metanarratives that have made up the tapestry of Western civilization. Star Trek, likewise, has its grand metanarratives, which tie together individual...

Duration: 01:36:29


73: Space Ham Radio

7/3/2017
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Pen Pals. When Lt. Commander Data contacts a girl named "Sarjenka" from a pre-warp civilization in distress on his 24th-century space ham radio, it leads to a super-secret philosophical discussion about the nature of the Prime Directive in Captain Picard's quarters. Should the Prime Directive be interpreted strictly or loosely? How should Starfleet officers weigh the high-stakes, life-or-death consequences for an entire civilization against their responsibility and oath to uphold the...

Duration: 01:26:03


72: Trojan Catfish

6/26/2017
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Enterprise Season 2 - Essential Trek Philosophy. Season 2 of Enterprise contained numerous fun and interesting and science-fiction concepts and ideas, as the crew of the NX-01 encountered novelty and adventure going where no humans had ever gone before. But this season also explored a number of important philosophical and ethical issues, from the Kantian principle of not using other sentient beings as a means to your own ends in "Dead Stop" to the politics of gender and sexual identity...

Duration: 01:39:27


71: Borg Butterfly Effect

6/12/2017
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Future Human Cultural Evolution with Patrick Devlin. In the Star Trek universe, the cultural progression of alien races is remarkably deterministic, as cultures proceed from their own versions of the stone age, to the bronze age, to the industrial age, and culminating in warp-capable civilizations that are fully fledged members of the galactic community. But what reasons do we have for thinking that our own diverse human cultures will progress along the path laid out for us in the...

Duration: 01:29:40


70: The Clothes Make the Cardassian

6/5/2017
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Cardassian Virtue Ethics. Throughout the Star Trek universe, the various alien races serve as a mirror for the best and the worst of our own human natures, and the Cardassians are no exception. But which character traits do the Cardassians find most virtuous? And which characters in the Star Trek universe are the best candidates for the ideal or most virtuous Cardassians, based on the unique character traits that Cardassians themselves recognize as virtues? In this episode of Meta...

Duration: 01:21:41


69: Turn On, Tune In, Beam Down

5/29/2017
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"Rapture" and Altered States of Consciousness. On the eve of Bajor's admittance into the Federation, an accident in one of Quark's holosuites results in the synapses being hyper-stimulated in Captain Sisko's brain. Captain Sisko enters a heightened state of awareness allowing him to locate the legendary Bajoran lost city of B'hala. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the philosophical themes and concepts in the fifth-season Deep Space Nine...

Duration: 01:18:24


68: Midwifery Is Our Business

5/22/2017
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The Original Series Season 2 - Essential Trek Philosophy. Season 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series playfully explores human nature, what human nature is and what it could become, its place in the cosmos, and its relation to humanity's past, present, and future. From future Space Nazis in "Patterns of Force" to ancient Greek gods and Roman gladiators in space ("Who Mourns for Adonais?" and "Bread and Circuses"), TOS season 2 explores the best and the worst of human nature across the...

Duration: 01:34:53


67: From Riker to Worf to O'Brien

5/8/2017
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Kierkegaard and Stages on Life's Way. This time, we're talking "Soren," but not Dr. Tolian Soren from Star Trek Generations; we're talking about the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard! Søren Kierkegaard is well-known for his "Stages on Life's Way," or three different approaches to life: the aesthetic approach (novelty, adventure, and experiences); the ethical approach (rules, duty, and responsibility), and the religious approach (sincere commitment, meaningful dedication, and authentic...

Duration: 01:43:44


66: Warp 13 with Hair on Fire

4/24/2017
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Exploration and Expanding Knowledge. The worldview depicted in the Star Trek universe is grounded in the assumption that the pursuit of increased knowledge is intrinsically valuable, such that it is worth the risks and dangers inherent to exploration of the unknown. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling examine this underlying assumption of the Star Trek universe: Does knowledge have intrinsic value or merely instrumental value? What ethical and...

Duration: 01:32:17


65: Klingon Snipe Hunt

4/17/2017
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"Birthright," Parts I and II. In the sixth-season episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Birthright," Parts I and II, there are parallels between Lieutenant Worf and the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. Both Worf and Socrates were accused of corrupting the minds of the youth, both were protesting the perceived injustices and irrationality of the established state, and both were sentenced to death by execution (a fate escaped by Worf more successfully than by Socrates!). In...

Duration: 01:21:01


64: Socrates in the Stars

4/3/2017
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TNG Season 6 - Essential Trek Philosophy. In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling compare their top picks for Essential Trek Philosophy from season 6 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. From Cartesian skepticism of the external world in "Ship in a Bottle" to transporter-related issues of personal identity in "Second Chances," season 6 of Star Trek: The Next Generation contains some of the most well-known and often-cited philosophical episodes in all of...

Duration: 01:09:49


63: Ugly Bags of Mostly Silicon

3/27/2017
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The Definition of Life. "To seek out new life...." Such is the mission statement of Federation starships, to discover and learn as much as possible about life in the universe. But given the diversity of life forms in the Star Trek universe, here on Earth in the real world, and possibly elsewhere in our own galaxy, how do you recognize a new lifeform as life when you first encounter it, especially exotic or non-carbon-based lifeforms? In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary...

Duration: 01:36:40


62: Tricorder of Gyges

3/20/2017
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Cloaking Devices and the Ring of Gyges. Invisibility has a long tradition both in fiction and in philosophy, from The Ring of Gyges in Plato's Republic to The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, from the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien to the Klingon and Romulan cloaking devices seen throughout the Star Trek universe. In this episode of Meta Treks hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling discuss the ethics of invisibility. Do these fictional invisibility devices reveal...

Duration: 01:25:03


61: Smooth Operator

3/13/2017
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DS9 Season 6 - Essential Trek Philosophy with Duncan Barrett, Part 2. In this second part of a two-part episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison continue their discussion with author Duncan Barrett about their top picks for Essential Trek Philosophy from season 6 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Chapters Welcome to Episode 61 (00:01:08) Profit and Lace (00:03:08) Far Beyond the Stars (00:14:47) Waltz (00:34:60) Honorable Mentions (01:09:56) Recap and Final...

Duration: 01:31:00


60: Sisko's Folly

3/6/2017
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DS9 Season 6 - Essential Trek Philosophy with Duncan Barrett, Part 1. In this first part of a two-part episode of Meta Treks, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling are joined by author Duncan Barrett to discuss their picks for Essential Trek Philosophy from season 6 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Much of Season 6 of Deep Space Nine can be framed in terms of Thomas Hobbes's conception of a State of Nature outside of civilized society, in which actions in war are not bound by ethical...

Duration: 01:21:39


59: Defying the Badmirals

2/27/2017
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Disobeying Orders. Starfleet officers generally respect the chain of command. When an order comes down the pipe from a superior officer or from the Federation council, that order is usually obeyed out of duty, honor, loyalty, and respect. But when is it appropriate for a Starfleet officer to disobey orders or defy the chain of command? When an unjust order comes from one of the many "badmirals" in the Star Trek universe? When the lives of your shipmates are in imminent danger? Out of...

Duration: 01:17:26


58: Trans-Dimensional Slices

2/13/2017
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Dimensions. Reflecting on dimensions has a long history in popular culture, from the geometrically minded satirical novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott to the 1937 film The Fourth Dimension by director Jean Painleve. But how is the relationship between different dimensions explored in the Star Trek universe? From a plane of two-dimensional beings in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Loss," to higher-dimensional beings like members of the Q...

Duration: 01:30:26

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