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Call for Abstracts: Game of Thrones and Philosophy

Call for Abstracts: Game of Thrones and Philosophy

Edited by Henry Jacoby

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Direwolves, dragons, and the Others: Metaphysics and the strange creatures of Westeros;
  • What’s so bad about incest? The strange relationship of Jaime and Cersei Lannister;
  • Maesters and Septons: Does science conflict with religion?
  • “Winter is coming”: Seasons that last for years and the nature of space and time;
  • The moral luck of Tyrion Lannister;
  • What would Ned Stark do? Virtue ethics and moral exemplars;
  • Bastards and cripples, dwarfs and kings: the nature of the self;
  • Why don’t the gods ever help out? Melisandre and the problem of evil;
  • The things I do for love: Jaime Lannister’s view of morality;
  • Do’s and Don’ts at Dothraki Weddings: Is Morality relative?;
  • “See with your eyes.” Zen and the Art of Water Dancing;
  • Was Robert right to usurp the throne from Mad King Aerys?;
  • Jon and Sam: An Aristotelian analysis of the Night’s Watch and the nature of friendship;
  • The Wildings and Hobbes’ state of nature;
  • Are Machiavellian virtues a necessary evil when you play the game of thrones?;
  • There is no Dothraki word for ‘thank you’: Language and reality;
  • Hinduism and the Seven Faces of God;
  • The Wights beyond the Wall: Are zombies possible?;
  • Subjectivity and the Mind-Body problem: What is it like to be a dragon?;
  • How should we choose our leaders? The kings of Westeros vs. Plato’s Republic;
  • Is “the King’s justice” really justice?;
  • The old gods or the new gods: Is faith in any of them justified?;
  • Queens, whores, and tomboys: Fantasy mores and feminist ideals;
  • Is Daenerys a Nietzschean Superwoman?;
  • Do Direwolves have souls? A Cartesian analysis of the brutes;
  • Incest, bastards, and secret identities: Is keeping secrets to protect your family ethical?;
  • Isn’t the Night’s Watch more like a penal colony? Who do we want protecting us anyway?;
  • Plato’s Ring of Gyges and the immoralist’s question: Why should I be moral if I have dragons?;
  • Valar morghulis, valar dohaeris (Every man must die, but first we must live): The meaning of life in the Seven Kingdoms;
  • “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” The nature of knowledge and the limits of empiricism;
  • Paganism and the Old Gods in Winterfell;
  • No exit for Sansa Stark: A Sartrean analysis;
  • From Arya to Cat of the Canals: Description vs. Causal theories of proper names;
  • Greensight, dreams, and prophecy: Destiny vs. Free will;
  • Do Bran and Summer share their consciousness? The problem of Personal Identity;
  • Martial arts and the virtues of Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth, and the Kingslayer;
  • If Daenerys frees slaves, why does she keep the Unsullied?;
  • Aristotelian virtues in Littlefinger and the Lannisters: Intelligence or practical wisdom?;
  • Traitors and turncoats: The Kingslayer, Barriston Selmy, and Theon Greyjoy;
  • Master morality and slave morality: Nietzsche looks at the citizens of Westeros

*While most topics listed here emphasize the first book and television series, contributions dealing with characters and events of later books are welcome as well.

Submission Guidelines:

1. Submission deadline for abstracts (100-500 words) and CV’s: July 6, 2011

2. Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers: August 22, 2011

Kindly submit abstract (with or without Word attachment) and CV by email to: Henry Jacoby (jacobyh@ecu.edu)

Check out the series website: http://andphilosophy.com/

To propose ideas for future volumes in the Blackwell series please contact the Series Editor, William Irwin, at williamirwin@kings.edu.

If you have comments or criticisms for the series, please read “Fancy Taking a Pop?” at http://www.philosophypress.co.uk/?p=1131 and join the discussion in the comments section.

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

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