What if things had been otherwise? What if things are someday, somewhere, very different than they are here and now? Science fiction and other genre fiction gives us the opportunity to explore worlds that stretch our conceptions of reality, of what it is to have a mind, to be human, and to communicate with one another. This course examines central questions in philosophy through the lens of speculative fiction. Can there be freedom in a deterministic world? How could language and communication evolve? What is a mind, and what is the nature of experience? How can we know what the world is like? We多ll read classical and contemporary papers in philosophy alongside short stories, novels, and movies that play the role of thought experiments in illuminating philosophical issues. Class Notes: Introductory Seminar. Preference to first-year students; sophomores admitted if space available. Advance sign-up process and deadlines at http://introsems.stanford.edu.