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Lauren McKee

Dr. Holt

English 12- Science Fiction

8 December 2017

Philosophy, Science Fiction, and the Unknown

One of the greatest fears of the human race is the concept of the unknown. Humans fear

the unrecognizable risks that are associated with any kind of uncertainty. The element of surprise

is considered dreadful to many, for several yearn to possess the notion of control and assurance.

When these ideas are stripped from an individual, anxiety and unease engulf the body and mind.

In order to respond to this fear, society has utilized literature and other thought expressive

methods to teach humans how to manipulate the conditions around them making the unknown

more predictable. Ultimately, people utilize their familiarity of the past through memories and

stories to educate others in order to grow as a society. This method of coping with ones fear of

the unknown inadvertently became the study of history. But if the genre of history entirely

alleviates the fear of the future, this statement prompts questions regarding the relevance of other

genres such as Science Fiction.

As a society, humans have instilled this recollection of past events into the curriculum of

younger generations in order for them to analyze the outcomes and effects of various events.

Children are taught to recognize the indications of what makes for success while also considering

the faults in assurance that the same mistakes are not repeated. For example, starting at an early

age, children are taught about leaders and groups who have attempted at success but have fallen

short instigating situations that have lead to disruption within the society.
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The resulting effects of the disruption are often stressed within the childrens educations

in order for them to see the outcomes and prevent something similar from occurring in the future.

In order for these childrens youthful brains to entirely comprehend these humane actions, they

must be exposed and bare to the exploration of life through philosophy. Questions must be asked

regarding to skepticism and epistemology while the answers must be found through ones

curious and interested exploration of the world.

Naturally, children eventually become more comfortable in their own skin and now

comprehend the patterns of history easing their darkest fear of the unexpected and unknown.

Although people feel they have the knowledge and freewill to regulate the unknowns of the

future, there are lots of things that have not previously occurred in history that have the potential

of occurring today. Once we can fully

This is where Science Fiction is written. It is created with the intention of enlightening

people of the possible abilities the future holds within cognitive plausibility. The ideas and

beliefs expressed better prepare humans for the future. Science Fiction suggests new and

different outlooks if something uncharacteristically were to happen making the human race more

equip to handle these situations. Without science fiction, one would not know how to respond to

these unexpected situations and due to humans general fear for lack of control and the unknown

future, ones initial reaction would not respond well. Because Science Fiction offers a mental

preparation, humans are more prepared to respond in an effective manner while also pushing the

boundaries that life and humanity have to offer. From ethical predicaments to the very nature of

existence, science fiction's most famous texts are tailor-made for exploring philosophical ideas.

Within the Science Fiction novel, the Lathe of Heaven, LeGuin utilizes the concept of

something that is universally relatable among all beings to explore life and humanity. He
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develops various situations resulting in inquiries about the potentials of not just physical

attributes and technology but instead incorporates the growth of the mind within the human race.

Specifically, LeGuin takes the familiar concept of dreams and integrates futuristic developments

causing this acquainted concept to seem abstract. These developments result in the curiosity and

exploration of what the world currently is and the potential that lies within our hands. LeGuin

additionally showcases the concept of metaphysics throughout the novel through the reality of

the world constantly changing. In this example, everyone except Orr, a young boy whose dreams

can change reality, and Dr. Haber, a doctor who claims to be helping Orr, is oblivious to this

change. As Orr struggles to comprehend his changing reality, the readers begin to question the

very nature of the real world and the origin of reality. If Orrs dreams determine the fate for the

fictional world, what determines reality in the real world? How do we even determine what

reality is? Is reality everything that appears to our five senses? If so, does everyone have the

same reality?

Although humans will continue to shy away from the idea of the unknown, Science

Fiction allows humans to think and reflect upon the potentials of development while also

experimenting with ones mentality, ethics, and other philosophical concepts. Science Fiction

helps us understand our ability and freewill regarding our control to the future. LeGuin is just

one of the many examples of Science Fiction authors that support that the possibilities of the

world are endless if one believes so and that without science fiction the society wouldnt be able

to develop and progress to the extent it is capable of.