We live in an era of unparalleled technological change, in many areas including information technology and artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and the environment. It is therefore of great interest to speculate futuristically upon scenarios for where we may well be going in a decade or a generation. Futurism is at its most plausible when focused on the near future of ten years to a single generation, but more remote speculations will be raised. Will humanity be surpassed by intelligent machines? Will we redesign and enhance ourselves genetically, in accordance with transhumanist goals? What will be our energy technologies? These are just some of the intriguing questions focusing on the complex ethical and socio-political implications of technology for the future that will be discussed and debated in this course. We will examine both classical and contemporary themes in philosophy of technology and futurism.
The course includes field studies to both the Science and Design Museums, two world-class sites in London.
Semesters: Fall, Spring