A discussion of José-Antonio Orosco’s new book, Star Trek’s Philosophy of Peace and Justice: A Global, Anti-Racist Approach.
Orosco has been finding wisdom in Star Trek episodes since he watched late night reruns with his mother. Then, recently, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek’s debut, Orosco began to teach the series as source material for peace philosophy.
Philosophical concepts can be brought to bear on Star Trek stories; but Orosco argues that the stories also assert philosophical meanings that are instructive to peace studies. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fan of the first season, famously encouraging the late Nichelle Nichols (1932-2022) to persist in the role of Nyota Uhura after she had decided to resign.
In our book discussion, Orosco centers the importance of Critical Race Theory as a tool for exploring Star Trek’s presentation of peace and justice. Andrew Fiala questions Orosco about Star Trek’s militarism. Jennifer Kling asks how the treatment of refugees intersects with Starfleet’s Prime Directive, which commands noninterference with intergalactic populations.