Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Science and Technology Law

University of Michigan Law School

2021

Science fiction

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Right To An Artificial Reality? Freedom Of Thought And The Fiction Of Philip K. Dick, Marc Jonathan Blitz Apr 2021

The Right To An Artificial Reality? Freedom Of Thought And The Fiction Of Philip K. Dick, Marc Jonathan Blitz

Michigan Technology Law Review

In Anarchy, State, and Utopia, the philosopher Robert Nozick describes what he calls an “Experience Machine.” In essence, it produces a form of virtual reality (VR). People can use it to immerse themselves in a custom-designed dream: They have the experience of climbing a mountain, reading a book, or conversing with a friend when they are actually lying isolated in a tank with electrodes feeding perceptions into their brain. Nozick describes the Experience Machine as part of a philosophical thought experiment—one designed to show that a valuable life consists of more than mental states, like those we receive in …


Enabling Science Fiction, Camilla A. Hrdy, Daniel H. Brean Apr 2021

Enabling Science Fiction, Camilla A. Hrdy, Daniel H. Brean

Michigan Technology Law Review

Patent law promotes innovation by giving inventors 20-year-long exclusive rights to their inventions. To be patented, however, an invention must be “enabled,” meaning the inventor must describe it in enough detail to teach others how to make and use the invention at the time the patent is filed. When inventions are not enabled, like a perpetual motion machine or a time travel device, they are derided as “mere science fiction”—products of the human mind, or the daydreams of armchair scientists, that are not suitable for the patent system.

This Article argues that, in fact, the literary genre of science fiction …