In this episode I talk to Dr James Schwartz. James teaches philosophy at Wichita State University. His primary area of research is philosophy and ethics of space exploration, where he defends a position according to which space exploration derives its value primarily from the importance of the scientific study of the Solar System. He is editor (with Tony Milligan) of The Ethics of Space Exploration (Springer 2016) and his publications have appeared in Advances in Space Research, Space Policy, Acta Astronautica, Astropolitics, Environmental Ethics, Ethics & the Environment, and Philosophia Mathematica. He has also contributed chapters to The Meaning of Liberty Beyond Earth, Human Governance Beyond Earth, Dissent, Revolution and Liberty Beyond Earth (each edited by Charles Cockell), and to Yearbook on Space Policy 2015. He is currently working on a book project, The Value of Space Science. We talk about all things space-related, including the scientific case for space exploration and the myths that befuddle space advocacy.
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 1:40 – Why did James get interested in the philosophy of space?
- 3:17 – Is interest in the philosophy and ethics of space exploration on the rise?
- 6:05 – Do space ethicists always say “no”?
- 8:20 – Do we have a duty to explore space? If so, what kind of duty is this?
- 10:30 – Space exploration and the duty to ensure species survival
- 16:16 – The link between space ethics and environmental ethics: between misanthrophy and anthropocentrism
- 19:33 – How would space exploration help human survival?
- 23:20 – The scientific value of space exploration: manned or unmanned?
- 28:30 – Why does the scientific case for space exploration take priority?
- 35:40 – Is it our destiny to explore space?
- 38:46 – Thoughts on Elon Musk and the Colonisation Project
- 44:34 – The Myths of Space Advocacy
- 51:40 – From space philosophy to space policy: getting rid of the myths
- 58:55 – The future of space philosophy
- Dr Schwartz’s website – The Space Philosopher (with links to papers and works in progress)
- ‘Space Settlement: What’s the rush?’ – by James Schwartz
- Myth-Free Space Advocacy Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV -by James Schwartz
- Video of James’s lecture on Worldship Ethics
- ‘Prioritizing Scientific Exploration: A Comparison of Ethical Justifications for Space Development and Space Science’ – by James Schwartz
- Episode 37 with Christopher Yorke (middle section deals with the prospects for a utopia in space).