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2/23 – Ben Abelson, “Persons in Science Fiction” @ Brooklyn Public Philosophers

February 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Hot on the heels of the Night of Philosophy, the new season of Brooklyn Public Philosophers is upon us! Ask a Philosopher is coming back in a big way, and we have some, dare I say, dope af talks lined up for the semester – Elvira Basevich on W.E.B. Du Bois and the metaphysics of race, Christia Mercer on women in the history of philosophy, Chris Lebron on the philosophy of Black Lives Matter. Coming up on February 23rd at 7:00 P.M., Ben Abelson (Mercy College) will be kicking things off with a talk on what science fiction can teach us about what it means to be a person (human or otherwise). Here’s more about the talk, in Dr. Abelson’s own words:

“Persons in Science Fiction”

There is a crucial distinction between the concepts “human” and “person”. To be a person, one need not be a member of the human species. Science fiction is filled with a variety of non-human persons, including artificially intelligent robots, intergalactic aliens, super-evolved animals, and more. But what are the qualities that are essential to something counting as a person? This talk will examine the nature of personhood by considering myriad examples from sci-fi literature and film.

As usual, we meet at the Dweck Center at the Grand Army Plaza branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. Bring a date! Or at least bring a sci-fi nerd! Come prepared with your favorite example of a marginal case of a person!

See you there, I hope!


February 23
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Center
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11215 United States


Brooklyn Public Philosophers