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Question about Trek - Input Junkie
May 12th, 2009
08:03 pm


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Question about Trek
Do characters from the original series ever get pushed to be more rational?

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:May 13th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
>>...the false dichotomy between logic and emotion makes me nuts.<<

What's false about it? Seems valid to me, but then I am not a philosopher or logician. Gods know my intellect and my id have enough knock-down-drag-outs in my everyday life to make it seem valid.
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Date:May 13th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
For one thing, you can't do logic without emotion-- emotion supplies goals, including preferring good logic over bad.
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Date:May 13th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Sometimes. You've got "The Enemy Within", with Kirk being split into two halves, one "good" and one "evil", and the evil one is more emotional, more brutal and passionate. There's "Mirror, Mirror", with the universe of barbaric Star Trek characters, which ends with main-universe Kirk appealing to logic to convince mirror-universe Spock to change the course of the Empire (that universe's Federation).

Generally, though, it's the plot itself that endorses rationality. The Enterprise encounters some planet where people are making themselves miserable with some irrational belief system, and Kirk uses the power of rationality to set them straight.

Anyway, as I said in someone else's LJ just last night, Vulcans aren't really logical as much as they're stoic. Or perhaps Stoic. In "The Ultimate Computer" Spock is amazed when a computer feigns being destroyed in order to lure an enemy into a trap. There's no logical reason for the confusion -- feints and gambits are perfectly logical behavior, requiring only a theory of mind so that one can attempt to make predictions based on an opponent's likely reactions to one's own behavior. But feints are dishonest, and therefore a violation of the Stoic ideal of virtuous behavior even in the face of doom.
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Date:May 13th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
Vulcans aren't really logical as much as they're stoic.

Good point. Hadn't thought of it that way before.
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Date:May 13th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Do characters from the original series ever get pushed to be more rational?

My problem with this sort of thing is that the characters accused of being "too rational" never fit my definition of "rational". Hope Mirrlees' Lud-in-the-Mist is a perfect example of this.
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