199 – Political Theory in Star Trek

The Mythcreant Podcast

Sound, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Mythcreant Podcast, and as you might be able to tell, today we’re talking about Star Trek. But not just any Star Trek: political theory in Star Trek. For that we’ve brought on a special guest, Professor Kathy Ferguson, who just so happens to teach a class on this very subject. We talk about what makes someone a person, how we know what we know, and what being Machiavellian even means. Also, Kathy weighs in on the age-old philosopher debate: was Socrates real?

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:


Death Wish 

The High Ground

The Measure of a Man

The 37’s 


Let This Be Your Last Battlefield

The Cloud Minders





Sigmund Freud


Hannah Arendt

John Stuart Mill

Harriet Taylor Mill

John Locke 

Karl Marx

Hanna Pitkin

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  1. Bryony

    The Irish border is still a very sensitive issue. Tiny point of the podcast, not doubting you know that, but living with the Brexit vote is scary.

  2. rodneyzalenka

    “The Measure of a Man” doesn’t try to prove Data is human, but sentient. Hinging on whether he has a soul, OTOH, is absurd, since Man can’t prove _we_ have one. (The Bible is not evidence.)

    • rodneyzalenka

      I’m a bit troubled “Cloud Minders” is used as a commentary on class structure & not the more obvious one David Gerrold pointed out: slavery. (Of course, that could apply to “The 37s” & “North Star”, too… Which does raise an obvious question: why do aliens capable of interstellar travel need slaves, when machines can do any manual labor task better, faster, cheaper, & with fewer headaches?)

      I’m also curious how “The 37s” plays in anywhere…

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