Vulcan Katras and the Mind-Body Problem.
Episode 6 of Star Trek: Discovery, "Lethe," explored and expanded upon the metaphysics of Vulcan katras beyond what had been seen in previous iterations of Star Trek. But what exactly is a Vulcan katra and what properties does it have? From transferring consciousness from one Vulcan to another, to enabling a form of disembodied immortality, katras play an important role in Vulcan mysticism and metaphysics.
In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison give a philosophical analysis of the metaphysics of Vulcan katras in relation to the mind-body problem. Is the katra a type of nonphysical substance, as Cartesian dualism would hold? Is the katra a biophysical or emergent property of the brain and its functioning? And is transferring one's katra, through a mind meld or otherwise, an actual transfer of consciousness to a new location, or is it more like backing up a copy of your hard drive to the cloud?
"Lethe" and Sciencing the Katra in Discovery (00:04:29)
Naturalizing the Katra and Alternative Theories (00:10:59)
Examples of Katric Transfers in Star Trek (00:15:52)
Are Katras Necessarily Dualist? (00:20:24)
Is the Katra Living Consciousness? (00:27:57)
Emerging Consciousness from Katra and Body (00:36:58)
Is a Katra Divisible Into Parts? (00:48:48)
What Happens to the Disembodied Katra? (00:55:17)
Vulcan Immortality and Gnostic Knowledge (01:01:25)
Touch Telepathy vs. Mind Meld by Remote (01:12:34)
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison
Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison dive into the mud pits for a philosophical exploration of the Trill. From the etymology of the term "symbiont," to the precise nature of the shared consciousness between a symbiont and its host, to gender fluidity and identity, Zachary and Mike share multiple lifetimes of philosophical experience about all things Trill.
Welcome to Episode 43 (00:01:07)
Initial Thoughts on Dax and Trill Consciousness (00:02:07)
The Greek Roots of "Symbiont" (00:05:01)
Analyzing Trill Consciousness - One Consciousness or Two? (00:07:31)
Exploring the Boundary Conditions - Death of a Trill Host (00:24:33)
Personal Identity - Memory and Continuity of Experience (00:28:18)
Gender Identity, Gender Fluidity, and 1990s Gender Politics (00:40:05)
Personality Dominance - Host or Symbiont? (00:52:22)
Consciousness and Remote Sensory Apparatus (01:00:01)
Long Life Spans and Perspectives on Life (01:09:55)
Final Thoughts and Essential Dax/Trill Episodes (01:21:24)
Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison
Mike Morrison (Editor and Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Charlynn Schmiedt (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Elizabeth Janeway (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager)
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The Nature of Consciousness.
What is the nature of consciousness and what is its relation to the physical world? In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison explore the many ways that the nature of consciousness is portrayed in Star Trek. Focusing on the "hard problem" of consciousness (how subjective experience arises out of physical systems), Zachary and Mike explore different philosophical theories of consciousness, such as: mind-body dualism, physicalist theories of consciousness (identity theory, behaviorism, functionalism, non-reductive physicalism, and emergentism), and the problem of mental causation. Zachary and Mike also debate forms of consciousness found uniquely in Star Trek, such as the joint consciousness of the Trill, the collective consciousness of the Borg, the consciousness produced by Data's positronic brain, and the dualist nature of Spock's katra.
Welcome to Episode 13 (00:01:08)
Winner of the Meta Treks iTunes Review Contest (00:02:54)
The Hard Problem of Consciousness (00:08:14)
Consciousness Stories in Star Trek (00:11:40)
What is it like to be a [fill in the blank]? (00:14:03)
Trill Consciousness (00:22:42)
The Borg and Collective Consciousness (00:29:01)
Mind-Body Dualism and Spock's Katra (00:35:14)
Mental Causation and the Problem of Causal Exclusion (00:45:03)
Non-Reductive Physicalism (00:50:20)
Identity Theory and Data's Positronic Brain (00:57:21)
Behaviorism and Data's Yellow Tears (01:04:19)
(Fully) Functionalism (01:16:53)
Final Thoughts (01:23:09)