Popular Culture and Philosophy

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Ender’s Game and Philosophy CFA

Posted on | September 5, 2012

Call for Abstracts
Ender’s Game and Philosophy
D.E. Wittkower ed.
Open Court Popular Culture and Philosophy Series

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a much-beloved science-fiction classic, winner of Nebula and Hugo Awards, and finally being produced as a film scheduled for release in November of 2013. The book has been controversial as well as popular, with concerns about the morally troubling depiction of militaries and of children, and the book has been used in training programs by the U.S. Marine Corps.

We invite abstracts on philosophical aspects of Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow, which Card has indicated was also used for the screenplay of Ender’s Game. We welcome submissions from any philosophical tradition, and from interdisciplinary writers working on philosophically relevant topics. The volume is intended for a general audience, and chapters should be accessible to readers with little or no formal background in philosophy. We are primarily interested in writing that explores the philosophical issues already present in and being worked through by these novels, rather than chapters that use elements of the novels merely as an opening to discuss philosophical concerns.

While there are a great variety of topics of potential value and interest, some ideas may include:

* Space, the phenomenology of perception, and the challenges of the Battle Room
* Discipline and surveillance
* Networks of power ranging from bullying, to state power, to military force
* The military-educational complex of the International Fleet, and its relation to late capitalism’s corporate-educational complex
* Leadership, friendship, and Ender’s jeesh
* Just war theory and use of overwhelming retaliatory force
* Just war theory and xenocide
* Dr. Device and the morality and politics of WMD
* Sacrifice of lives for humanity; of freedom for security
* Personhood of non-humans and what it’s like to be another species
* Eugenics, Ender as “third,” and Bean and Anton’s Key.
* The Noble Lie
* Sport ethics and Ender’s games: when to break rules
* Military drones/UAVs and the moral impact of warfare at a distance
* Child soldiers and children’s violence
* Locke and Demosthenes, blogging, and world-political argumentation
* Girls, authority, and authorship in Ender’s Game
* Philosophy of psychology in the Mind Fantasy Game
* Orson Scott Card’s Mormonism in the Ender saga
* Religion and Ender’s gospel as speaker for the dead
* Compassion in the Wiggin children
* Bureaucracy, knowledge, and moral responsibility

Please send a 200-300 word abstract to d.e.wittkower@gmail.com prior to September 24th, 2012. Finished chapters, approx. 3000–4000 words, will be required by January 10th, 2013, with rewrites shortly thereafter.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

D.E. Wittkower
Department of Philosophy
Old Dominion University


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