Publication Date

Summer 1985

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

William McMahon (director), Joe Survant, James Heldman

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Robert A. Heinlein is a key figure in the development of American science fiction. What makes his contribution unique is his emphasis on philosophical speculation. Heinlein's program is based on rationality as a vital element to salvation. Although the importance of rationality is an aspect of many schools of philosophy particular value may be gained by comparing Heinlein's system with the philosophy of Plotinus. An examination of Heinlein's key works (Stranger in a Strange Land. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Time Enough For Love, The Number of the Beast--. And various short stories I provides ample evidence to support the idea that the two systems are quite similar. Thus it becomes apparent that Heinlein presents a carefully considered world view which is particularly exemplified in his competent heroes, and in his concern for family, morality, and aesthetics.


American Literature | English Language and Literature | Philosophy