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Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast

Meta Treks is a Trek.fm podcast dedicated to a deep examination of the philosophical ideas found in Star Trek. In each episode, Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison take you on a fascinating journey into the inner workings of Star Trek storytelling, deeper into subspace than you've ever traveled before.
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Now displaying: April, 2016
Apr 18, 2016

Risa and Hedonism. 

What role does the pleasure planet of Risa play in the ethics of Star Trek? Is Risa the ultimate hedonistic escape from the moralistic constraints of life in the Federation? Or is Risa the ultimate embodiment of the Federation's ideals of tolerance and acceptance? In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss Risa, hedonism, and the clash of Federation values seen in the Deep Space Nine episode "Let He Who Is Without Sin." Zachary and Mike cover the different traditions of hedonism as expressed by the ancient Greek philosophers Aristippus and Epicurus, the value of different kinds of pleasures as expressed by the utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill, and the critique of morality based on fear and pleasure as expressed by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Finally, Zachary and Mike explore the most fundamental Risean question of all, "Is it the quantity of the horga'hns or the quality of the jamaharon?" 

Chapters
Welcome to Episode 25 (00:01:07)
Initial Thoughts - Where Does Risa Fit into Federation Morality? (00:03:32)
Hedonism and DS9 "Let He Who is Without Sin" (00:4:20)
Risa Episodes in Star Trek (00:05:52)
Is Risa an Escape from Federation Values, or their Ultimate Embodiment? (00:11:23)
Hedonism - Aristippus  vs. Epicurus (00:16:09)
The Outskirts of Risa (00:19:37)
The Subjectivity of Pleasure - Fair Haven as Paradise? (00:24:47)
John Stuart Mill - The Quantity of Horga'hns vs. the Quality of the Jamaharon (00:27:06)
Fullerton and Nietzsche - A Clash of Federation Moralities  (00:31:12)
Nietzsche, Morality, and the Will to Power (00:37:23)
Falling Short - Hypocrisy and the Ad Hominem Fallacy (00:42:46)
Clever Beasts - Nietzsche on Deconstructing Morality (00:47:47)
Nietzsche on Pleasure - The Apollonian (Federation) Standpoint vs. The Dionysian (Risean) Standpoint (00:53:47)
Being Constrained by Fear (01:10:33)
Final Thoughts (01:14:55) 

Hosts
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison 

Production
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) 

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Apr 11, 2016

The Bonding.  

When Lieutenant Marla Aster is killed unexpectedly during an away mission under Lieutenant Worf's command, Worf takes young Jeremy Aster under his wing by participating in the Klingon ritual known as "R'uustai" ("The Bonding"). In this episode of Meta Treks: A Star Trek Philosophy Podcast, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling explore the philosophical themes of death and loss. Mike and Zachary discuss meaning and the existential absurdity of life and death, the sociological and cultural role of rituals, Jeremy Aster's escapism and the illusion of happiness, the finality of death, and the sense of powerlessness in the face of death. Finally, Mike and Zachary continue the turbolift debate between Captain Picard and Counselor Troi about the wisdom of allowing children to live aboard a starship.  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 24 (00:01:07) 
Synopsis of TNG "The Bonding" (00:06:00) 
Initial Thoughts (00:06:46) 
Death, Meaning, and the Absurd (00:12:20) 
Emotions and Death (00:16:47) 
Worf and Jeremy Aster (00:21:55) 
The Role of Ritual (00:25:43) 
Death, Pluralism, and Cultural Relativism (00:30:31) 
Exploration and Meaning - The Challenger Explosion (00:41:21) 
The Finality of Death (00:43:11) 
The Role of Death in Life (00:45:25) 
Escapism and the Illusion of Happiness (00:48:22) 
Subjective Meaning vs. Objective Meaning (00:52:18) 
Deep Space Nine - "It's Only a Paper Moon" (00:57:20) 
Cross-Cultural Connections (01:03:45) 
Children on the Enterprise - A City in Space (01:09:53) 
Final Thoughts (01:18:41) 

Hosts 
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling  

Production 
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

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Twitter: @trekfm 
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Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm  

Apr 4, 2016

Vulcan Philosophy and Spinoza.  

Meta Treks hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss aspects of Vulcan philosophy, such as logic and IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations). Zachary and Mike examine the philosophical roots of Vulcan philosophy in the work of the Western rationalist philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza's greatest work, Ethics, contains many aspects of Vulcan philosophy, such as logical deduction from first principles and axioms, determinism (or faith that the universe will unfold as it should), infinity and diversity within one infinite and unbound substance, and the suppression of harmful emotions. Given the many connections between Vulcan philosophy and Spinoza, Zachary and Mike are left wondering, "How exactly did those first Vulcan visitors to Earth manage to snag a copy of Spinoza's Ethics to take with them back home to Vulcan?"  

Chapters 
Welcome to Episode 23 (00:1:07) 
IDIC in The Animated Series (00:02:07) 
Vulcan Stoicism (00:03:18) 
Star Trek VI - "Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not its end." (00:06:01) 
Spinoza and Vulcan Philosophy - Vulcan Rationalism (00:08:11) 
Faith that the Universe Will Unfold as it Should (00:15:55) 
Spinoza and Vulcan Philosophy - One Unbound and Infinite Substance (00:18:53) 
Pantheism and Environmentalism (00:22:09) 
Vulcan Diversity (00:24:43) 
IDIC and Deep Interconnectedness (00:27:05) 
Spinoza and Vulcan Philosophy - Suppression of Harmful Emotions (00:29:55) 
Determinism + Logic + IDIC + Suppression of Emotions = Spinoza (00:33:11) 
Leonard Nimoy Narrates the Spinoza's Ethics Audiobook (00:35:37) 
Mind/Body Dual Aspect Theory and Vulcan Touch Telepathy (00:39:10) 
Vulcan Cultural Enlightenment - Taking Spinoza and IDIC Seriously (00:46:33) 
Final Thoughts (01:08:00)  

Hosts 
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison  

Production 
Dennis Castello (Editor and Producer) Norman C. Lao (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Will Nguyen (Content Manager) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)  

Send us your feedback! 
Twitter: @trekfm 
Facebook: http://facebook.com/trekfm 
Voicemail: http://www.speakpipe.com/trekfm 
Contact Form: http://www.trek.fm/contact 
Visit the Trek.fm website at http://www.trek.fm/ 
Subscribe in iTunes: http://itunes.com/trekfm  

Support the Network! 
Become a Trek.fm Patron on Patreon and help us keep Star Trek talk coming every week. We have great perks for you at http://patreon.com/trekfm  

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