September 26th, 2008 08:25 EST
Media Is The Masses: signs and portents abound
Joseph Campbell said: `The symbolic field is based on the experiences of people in a particular community, at that particular time and place. Myths are so innately bound to the culture, time and place that unless the symbols, the metaphors, are kept alive by constant recreation through the arts, the life just slips away from them.`
This concept is at the Vanguard of all philosophy and science fiction... it is what both of these `genres` have in common, the destination they both pursue. These are the literature of problem-solving and exploration (of ideas and of self).
Challenging society`s expectation and what we accept as normal is the fundamental theme of Artemis Eternal --a sci-fi short film by Jessica Stover (www.artemiseternal.com), which immerses the story in both sci-fi and philosophy. They both provide, by different paths, contemplations and speculations on possibilities and potentials. Just as science and religion seek separate paths toward some conception of truth and comfort.
Indeed, my own Philosophy Trilogy of books engages that same essential premise of questioning and questing, occasionally undulating along the edges of the science fictional.
Philosophy and science fiction-- in order to be meaningful and (therefore) useful-- must express and explore the human condition, speaking to the contemporary about its cultural and ideological mentalities or mythologies... through mythology.
Since we humans are creators and purveyors of the symbolic, storytelling is the most effective medium to (re)present such mirrors and morality tales offering and injecting meaning in/ to our life. An urgent and inherent desire within us for manifestation of the relevant is why both sci-fi and philosophy are so vital to human edification, and thus why more stories like Artemis Eternal are so necessary.
Perhaps, at their best, science fiction should delve into the philosophical and philosophy incorporate elements of science fiction ? as they each push the boundary of our conceptions of reality.
Might there be such a thing as a merging of kindred genres to present philosophy through sci-fi, and sci-fi through philosophy. Into science philosophy? Sci-phi?