For many fans, The Orville is the Star Trek they have been waiting for. Although some expected it to be like Spaceballs, it turned out to be more like M*A*S*H*. It involves comedy, yes. But it also features real and lovable characters, in interesting situations, and offers up biting social and philosophical commentary (what science fiction does best). Indeed, it does the latter like no other science fiction series since Star Trek: The Next Generation.
In this talk, in anticipation of the second season in 2019, and in an effort to argue that The Orville is perhaps the most important science fiction now on television, perennial LVH favorite Professor David Kyle Johnson will offer a brief overview of the social commentary offered by The Orville in the first season. “About a Girl” deals with transgender issues. “If The Stars Should Appear” chastises humanity for ignoring climate change. “Krill” and “Mad Idolatry” offer criticism of religion. “Cupid’s Dagger” raises questions about sexual assault. And “Majority Rule” criticizes the “democratization of information” through social media, and even ridicules the idea of democracy itself. I shall treat each episode as a work of philosophy, clearly articulating and then briefly evaluating its argument.
Timeline for this Event:
9:00 Board Meeting (paid members may attend if interested)
10:30 Coffee & Conversation
11:00 Announcements & Presentation
12:30 Lunch (optional)
Those who wish to stay for lunch after the event can bring their own lunch or partake in a delivery order from a local Italian restaurant (please bring cash if you're interested).
There is no charge for this event, as we strive to make as much of our programming as possible accessible to all. However, donations will be accepted to offset our regular ongoing expenses.
Street parking is free on Sundays, but please note there is construction in the area. We suggest arriving early if you've never been to the location. Garage parking is available in the Community Deck accessible from 6th and Walnut Streets (both one way).
If you'd like to use the accessible entrance, please call 570-590-1780 prior to your arrival to let us know.
David Kyle Johnson, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s degree and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma.
At Oklahoma, he won the coveted Kenneth Merrill Graduate Teaching Award. In 2011, the American Philosophical Association’s committee on public philosophy gave him an award for his ability to make philosophy accessible to the general public.
Professor Johnson regularly teaches classes on metaphysics, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, and logic, as well as courses on critical thinking and scientific reasoning. He has published papers on human freedom, the problem of natural evil, the multiverse, the existence of souls, and many related topics in such journals as Religious Studies, Sophia, Philo, Philosophy and Literature, and Think. He also maintains two blogs for Psychology Today.
Professor Johnson also publishes prolifically on the intersection of pop culture and philosophy. One of his books, Inception and Philosophy: Because It’s Never Just a Dream, inspired an authors@Google talk with more than half-a-million YouTube views. He also has written numerous articles that explore the relationship between philosophical questions and such pop cultural phenomena as The Hobbit, Doctor Who, Batman, South Park, Johnny Cash, Quentin Tarantino, and Christmas.
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Allentown, PA 18101
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