Call for Abstracts: Science Fiction and the Abolition of Man

full name / name of organization: 
Mark J. Boone and Kevin C. Neece

Science Fiction and the Abolition of Man: How Science Fiction Develops Our Sense of Morality

Edited by Mark J. Boone and Kevin C. Neece

Call for Abstracts

The modern world tends to pursue happiness using technology to attain what human beings desire, largely disregarding the ancient insight that we must learn to desire the right things in order to be happy; in the modern world, science replaces virtue as the chief means of attaining happiness. Science fiction film, the genre of film which, in part, explores the philosophical significance of the technological age, frequently illustrates the dangerous consequences of pursuing happiness through technological means without also cultivating virtue—the same consequences of which C. S. Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man, up to and including the use of science to fundamentally eradicate human nature. Science fiction film can thus show that the ancient insight on the necessity of virtue for happiness is just as relevant as it always was.

We welcome abstracts for papers contributing to this thesis or exploring the connections between science fiction film and The Abolition of Man. The book will be arranged according to the sections of Lewis' book. Contributors should plan to write for a particular section of the book, keeping the section themes in mind:

PART ONE: MEN WITHOUT CHESTS (the danger of technology, technology as a source of bondage, the relationship between technology and desire, etc.)

PART TWO: THE WAY (relationship between technology and virtue, virtue as necessary for the proper use of technology, etc.)

PART THREE: THE ABOLITION OF MAN (technology's destruction of essential humanity, humanity's destruction of itself through technology, etc.)

Please submit abstracts by: August 30, 2014.

Length: 200 to 300 words

Email abstracts or questions to: and

Possible topics to relate to science fiction film and to Lewis:

Technology as a source of bondage

The relationship between technology and desire

How the careless use of technology to attain what we desire can result in enslavement to our lowest desires.

Humble accepting our limits vs. staking a claim on immortality and ruining our happiness in the process.

Relationship between technology and virtue

The usefulness, or the necessity, of virtue for the proper use of technology.

Technological destruction of essential humanity

Humanity's destruction of itself through technology

The use of some human beings as means to be exploited for the benefit of others

The reduction of human beings to their genes and the reduction of human value to the value of their genes

Danger of using technology to remove the dangerous parts of human nature rather than tame them through virtue