Vulcan Katras and the Mind-Body Problem.
Episode 6 of Star Trek: Discovery, "Lethe," explored and expanded upon the metaphysics of Vulcan katras beyond what had been seen in previous iterations of Star Trek. But what exactly is a Vulcan katra and what properties does it have? From transferring consciousness from one Vulcan to another, to enabling a form of disembodied immortality, katras play an important role in Vulcan mysticism and metaphysics.
In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison give a philosophical analysis of the metaphysics of Vulcan katras in relation to the mind-body problem. Is the katra a type of nonphysical substance, as Cartesian dualism would hold? Is the katra a biophysical or emergent property of the brain and its functioning? And is transferring one's katra, through a mind meld or otherwise, an actual transfer of consciousness to a new location, or is it more like backing up a copy of your hard drive to the cloud?
Chapters Intro (00:01:20) "Lethe" and Sciencing the Katra in Discovery (00:04:29) Naturalizing the Katra and Alternative Theories (00:10:59) Examples of Katric Transfers in Star Trek (00:15:52) Are Katras Necessarily Dualist? (00:20:24) Is the Katra Living Consciousness? (00:27:57) Emerging Consciousness from Katra and Body (00:36:58) Is a Katra Divisible Into Parts? (00:48:48) What Happens to the Disembodied Katra? (00:55:17) Vulcan Immortality and Gnostic Knowledge (01:01:25) Touch Telepathy vs. Mind Meld by Remote (01:12:34) Closing (01:19:29)
Hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison
Production Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)