Avoiding Intellectual Stagnation: The Starship as an Expander of Minds

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I. A. Crawford (2014), JBIS, 67, pp.253-257

Refcode: 2014.67.253
Keywords: Interstellar exploration, philosophy of space exploration, future of humanity

Abstract:
Interstellar exploration will advance human knowledge and culture in multiple ways. Scientifically, it will advance our understanding of the interstellar medium, stellar astrophysics, planetary science and astrobiology. In addition, significant societal and cultural benefits will result from a programme of interstellar exploration and colonisation. Most important will be the cultural stimuli resulting from expanding the horizons of human experience, and increased opportunities for the spread and diversification of life and culture through the Galaxy. Ultimately, a programme of interstellar exploration may be the only way for human (and post-human) societies to avoid the intellectual stagnation predicted for the `end of history'.

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