John Wiley & Sons Black Mirror and Philosophy Cover A philosophical look at the twisted, high-tech near-future of the sci-fi anthology series Black Mirr.. Product #: 978-1-119-57826-0 Regular price: $19.90 $19.90 In Stock

Black Mirror and Philosophy

Dark Reflections

Johnson, David Kyle (Editor)

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

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1. Edition January 2020
384 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-57826-0
John Wiley & Sons

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A philosophical look at the twisted, high-tech near-future of the sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror, offering a glimpse of the darkest reflections of the human condition in digital technology

Black Mirror--the Emmy-winning Netflix series that holds up a dark, digital mirror of speculative technologies to modern society--shows us a high-tech world where it is all too easy to fall victim to ever-evolving forms of social control.In Black Mirror and Philosophy, original essays written by a diverse group of scholars invite you to peer into the void and explore the philosophical, ethical, and existential dimensions of Charlie Brooker's sinister stories. The collection reflects Black Mirror's anthology structure by pairing a chapter with every episode in the show's five seasons--including an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure analysis of Bandersnatch--and concludes with general essays that explore the series' broader themes. Chapters address questions about artificial intelligence, virtual reality, surveillance, privacy, love, death, criminal behavior, and politics, including:
* Have we given social media too much power over our lives?
* Could heaven really, one day, be a place on Earth?
* Should criminal justice and punishment be crowdsourced?
* What rights should a "cookie" have?

Immersive, engaging, and experimental, Black Mirror and Philosophy navigates the intellectual landscape of Brooker's morality plays for the modern world, where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.

Contibutors xi

The Black Mirror Multiverse: An Editor's Note xxiii

Introduction 1

Black Mirror: What Science Fiction Does Best 3
David Kyle Johnson, with Leander P. Marquez, and Sergio Urueña

Season 1 9

1 The National Anthem and Weighing Moral Obligations: Is It Ever OK to F*ck a Pig? 11
Brian J. Collins with Brandon Boesch

2 Fifteen Million Merits and Fighting Capitalism: How Can We Resist? 20
Chris Byron with Matthew Brake

3 The Entire History of You and Knowing Too Much: Should You Want the Grain? 29
Gregor Balke and Bart Engelen

Season 2 39

4 Be Right Back and Rejecting Tragedy: Would You Bring Back Your Deceased Loved One? 41
Bradley Richards

5 White Bear and Criminal Punishment: How Far is too Far? 50
Sid Simpson with Chris Lay

6 The Waldo Moment and Political Discourse: What's Wrong with Disrespect in Politics? 59
Greg Littmann

The Christmas Special 69

7 White Christmas and Technological Restraining Orders: Are Digital Blocks Ethical? 71
Cansu Canca and Laura Haaber Ihle

Season 3 81

8 Nosedive and the Anxieties of Social Media: Is the Future Already Here? 83
Sergio Urueña and Nonna Melikyan

9 Playtest and the Power of Virtual Reality: Are Our Fears Real? 92
Claire Benn

10 Shut Up and Dance and Vigilante Justice: Should We Ever Take the Law into Our Own Hands? 101
Juliele Maria Sievers and Luiz Henrique da Silva Santos

11 San Junipero and the Digital Afterlife: Could Heaven be a Place on Earth? 109
James Cook

12 Men Against Fire and Political Manipulation: How Are We Tricked into Dehumanizing Others? 118
Bertha Alvarez Manninen

13 Hated in the Nation and #DeathTo: What are the Consequences of Trial by Twitter? 128
Aline Maya

Season 4 141

14 USS Callister and Non-Player Characters: How Should We Act in Video Games? 143
Russ Hamer with Steven Gubka

15 Arkangel and Parental Surveillance: What are a Parent's Obligations? 151
Catherine Villanueva Gardner with Alexander Christian

16 Crocodile and the Ethics of Self Preservation: How Far is Too Far? 160
Darci Doll

17 Hang the DJ and Digital Dating: Should We Use Computers to Help Us Find Mates? 168
Skye C. Cleary and Massimo Pigliucci

18 Metalhead and Technophobia: How Dangerous Will Robots Be? 177
Scott Midson with Justin Donhauser

19 Black Museum and Righting Wrongs: Should We Seek Revenge? 187
Gregory L. Bock, Jeffrey L. Bock, and Kora Smith

Bandersnatch 197

20 Bandersnatch: A Choose-Your-Own Philosophical Adventure 199
Chris Lay and David Kyle Johnson

Season 5 239

21 Striking Vipers and Closed Doors: How Meaningful Are Sexual Fantasies? 241
Darren M. Slade

22 Smithereens and the Economy of Attention: Are We All Dopamine Addicts? 251
Pierluca D'Amato

23 Empathy, Emulation and Ashley Too: Can a Robot Be a Friend? 260
George A. Dunn

Black Mirror Reflections 271

24 Consciousness Technology in Black Mirror: Do Cookies Feel Pain? 273
David Gamez with David Kyle Johnson

25 Personal Identity in Black Mirror: Is Your Cookie You? 282
Molly Gardner and Robert Sloane

26 Death in Black Mirror: How Should We Deal with Our Mortality? 292
Edwardo Pérez and Sergio Genovesi

27 Love in Black Mirror: Who Do We Really Love? 301
Robert Grant Price

28 Perception in Black Mirror: Who Controls What You See? 311
Brian Stiltner and Anna Vaughn

29 The Dangers of Technology in Black Mirror: A Dialogue between Uploaded Dead Philosophers 320
Ben Springett with Luiz Adriano Borges

Conclusion 333

30 Black Mirror in the Future: Will We Still be Watching? 335
Geoffrey A. Mitelman

Appendix: How to Use This Book in the Classroom 338

Index 340
DAVID KYLE JOHNSON is Professor of Philosophy at King's College in Pennsylvania. He is the editor of four books on popular culture and philosophy, including Inception and Philosophy (Wiley Blackwell, 2011), and has written over 20 articles for academic books and journals. He also produces lecture series for The Teaching Company's "The Great Courses," including Sci-Phi: Science Fiction as Philosophy.

D. K. Johnson, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania