Using science fiction to map borderlands between the humanities and the sciences
This paper argues that considerations of science fiction texts can be used to facilitate productive exchange between discourses of the sciences and the humanities. It acknowledges the danger of uncritically accepting the cliché that the sciences and the humanities have fundamentally different ways of looking at the world, and therefore identifies complex borderlands between such discourses rather than distinct boundary lines. The argument places science fiction at the centre of these borderlands, by combining ideas of an increasingly science fictional world with the work of theorists, such as Donna Haraway and N. Katherine Hayles, who argue that narratives of science fact can themselves be seen as fictions of science.
This paper therefore supports the idea that resonances between science fact and fiction can be used to help draw out fruitful exchange of ideas between those discourses of the sciences relating to robotics and artificial intelligence and ontological theory from the humanities. It argues that examples and scenarios from science fiction can be used to begin to articulate an area of interdisciplinarity: to help map the complex borderlands between the sciences and the humanities, making them more accessible to academic travellers from a broad range of disciplines.