I should like to note that the references in Professor Corwin’s lectures are not just things made up for fictional purposes. He is teaching a bona fide course on consciousness and hedonics. In his first lecture, he discusses the work of Daniel Dennett, in particular Consciousness Explained and also Susan Blackmore, in particular Consciousness: An Introduction. Corwin also alludes to some rather more speculative work, citing the Nick Bostrom of Oxford University‘s Future of Humanity Institute, and in particular Bostrom’s famous Simulation Argument (an argument that we are either going extinct soon, or that a posthuman civilization is very unlikely to run large-scale history simulations, or that it is highly likely that we are in fact living in a simulation).
In his second lecture, Corwin goes even further into the speculative by citing perhaps the most challenging thinker in his course, the negative utilitarian David Pearce, who believes in the moral imperative to use technology to transcend the human condition and end all suffering.
Deep and controversial stuff. Small wonder Professor Corwin is so popular with undergraduates, and so unpopular with conservative moralists.