Transformers and Philosophy
More Than Meets the Mind
Edited by John R. Shook and Liz Stillwaggon Swan
Vol. 40 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series
According to many experts on the likelihood of intelligent life in the universe, a robotic civilization is the most likely one we will meet some day. In Transformers and Philosophy, a dream team of human and cyborg philosophers pursues the fascinating questions posed by humankind's encounter with a mechanical civilization driven by artificial intelligence, as depicted in the hugely successful Transformers franchise (toys, cartoons, comic books, movies, and videogames).
Is genuine artificial intelligence possible, and if so what would an AI civilization look like? Would civilizations that achieve interstellar travel be cyborg or completely mechanical? Would robotic civilization come with its own morality and artistic life, and how would these differ from those of the human world? What legal principles should control the interactions between utterly different forms of intelligent life? Would totally machine-built beings still find a need for sexual reproduction and romantic love? Should we be more careful than we are about developing robots that may one develop ideas of their own? Does it make sense to say that Autobots are good and Decepticons evil, or does each mechanical species have its own standard of good and bad? Can Transformers be held responsible for their actions and do they have the same rights as humans?