That was to be the subtitle for my chapter in Open Court’s recent addition to their Popular Culture and Philosophy series, Transformers and Philosophy: More Than Meets the Mind. Alas, no subtitles made it into the book.

I have official permission to provide a pdf copy of my chapter, “Freedom Is the Right of All Sentient Beings. Technically, I don’t think I really need legal permission; I don’t recall signing over to Open Court the copyright that federal law automatically vests in me as the author. Anyway, download it from that link and enjoy!

The chapter title comes from a quote by Optimus Prime in the first of the recent live action movies (see my review). The chapter itself is kind of a condensed and lite version of the Aristotelian-liberal theory of virtue ethics and natural rights explained in more detail in my dissertation, applied to the transformers and to artificial intelligences more generally.


Cross-posted at Is-Ought GAP.


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BOOK AND MOVIE REVIEW | Transformers Thumbnail

This is one of two book/movie reviews I had published in Fall 2007 issue of Prometheus, the quarterly newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society. See also my chapter in Transformers and Philosophy: “Freedom Is the Right of All Sentient Beings” (pdf).

DreamWorks SKG, 2007
Directed by Michael Bay
Screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Jon Voight, Rachael Taylor, John Turturro

Transformers: The Novel
By Alan Dean Foster
Paperback, 304 pages
Ballantine/Del Rey, 2007, $7.99

This summer saw a blockbuster movie remake of a classic animated television series and movie. Transformers retells the story of the millennia-long conflict between the Autobots and the Decepticons – both factions within a race of sentient alien machine-life forms – but this time the story is told in live action and primarily from the human perspective. Die hard fans of the original television series and movie may not like some of the changes made to the characters and storyline, but the movie succeeds on its own merits. The novel by Alan Dean Foster, based on the screen play, however, is not so good.

[continue reading…]


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