Personhood in Science Fiction

Religious and Philosophical Considerations

  • Juli L. Gittinger

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 1-17
  3. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 19-40
  4. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 41-74
  5. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 75-107
  6. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 109-143
  7. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 145-177
  8. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 215-236
  9. Juli L. Gittinger
    Pages 237-241
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 243-245

About this book


“In Personhood in Science Fiction, Juli L. Gittinger does more than merely survey or even analyse the treatment of persons human, alien, and android across some of the most popular sci-fi franchises of recent years. She engages with one of the most puzzling and ethically challenging questions there is, in conversation with everyone from philosophers to neuroscientists to theologians—and yes, of course, our most beloved science fiction authors. Although engaging with highly technical matters, Gittinger does so in a way that is impressively accessible. The result is a book that is of great significance for all the aforementioned fields and many others, and deserves to be read and discussed widely. Juli L. Gittinger skilfully leads readers on a quest for the souls of androids and aliens, and in the process helps us discover and explore our own.”
James F. McGrath, Professor of Religion, Butler University, USA 

This book addresses the topic of personhood—who is a “person” or “human,” and what rights or dignities does that include—as it has been addressed through the lens of science fiction. Chapters include discussions of consciousness and the soul, artificial intelligence, dehumanization and othering, and free will. Classic and modern sci-fi texts are engaged, as well as film and television. This book argues that science fiction allows us to examine the profound question of personhood through its speculative and imaginative nature, highlighting issues that are already visible in our present world.


science fiction artificial intelligence AI Westworld popular culture posthumanism Battlestar Galactica robot android

Authors and affiliations

  • Juli L. Gittinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia CollegeMilledgevilleUSA

Bibliographic information