Popular Culture and Philosophy

A blog for contributors and editors by Series Editor, George A. Reisch

Homeland and Philosophy, CFA

Posted on | June 14, 2013

Call for Abstracts: Homeland and Philosophy. Edited by Robert Arp

The winner of some 27 TV-related awards (including six Emmys and five Golden Globes), Homeland is a series on Showtime centering on Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody and CIA agent Carrie Mathison. While stationed for a time in Iraq, Mathison heard from one of her spies there that an American POW had been recruited by al-Qaeda, whom she believes is Brody. Brody was MIA for some eight years in Iraq, and, after being rescued, has come home an American hero. The totality of episodes thus far exhibit many of the basic issues found in Western philosophy (and some Eastern philosophy), to include logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. Not only is Homeland one of Showtime’s most popular series ever—breaking a record for the number of viewers of the pilot episode of a drama on the channel—but also nearly all reviews have been positive and Obama himself is known to be a fan of the show (see the Wikipedia site where all of the data has been gathered in one place). The third season starts this September 29, 2013.

(1) Submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to: robertarp320@gmail.com

(2) Abstracts due: September 1, 2013

(3) Notification of accepted abstracts: September 15, 2013

(4) First drafts of papers due: December 1, 2013 (flexible)

(5) 3,000 to 3,500-word philosophy papers are written in a conversational style for a lay audience

(6) Papers must substantively and frequently refer to characters, stories, situations, and/or events in Homeland

Any relevant topic considered, but here are some possibilities:

– The definition and nature of terrorism

– An explanation of the basic tenets of Islam

– Proofs for the existence of one god

– Carrie’s personalities and the identity of personhood over time

– The latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V, Carrie’s bipolar disorder, Nick’s PTSD, and the use/abuse of “disorders”

– False beliefs and the conditions for brainwashing

– Brainwashing, free will, and determinism

– The use of logical fallacies to influence or manipulate beliefs

– Courage as an essential virtue for the virtue ethicist

– Carrie, Saul, mentoring, and virtue ethics

– Defense of a just war

– The military and utilitarian thinking

– Lying for the greater good

– On the ethics of drone strikes

– The morality of bug tapping

– The morality and immorality of suicide

– Heroic behavior and causes worth dying for

– Kant’s citizen of the world and the extent of the “homeland”
– Constitutional republics vs. totalitarian theocratic regimes- The case for concealing information from the public precisely to protect the public

– The extent of rights, spying, and government invasion of privacy for the good of the nation

– Universal moral laws regarding war

– Whether the following claim by Michael Bloomberg is true or not: “We all must recognize that homeland security funds should be allocated by threat and no other reason.”

Homeland and Philosophy will be a book in Open Court Publishing Company’s Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: http://www.opencourtbooks.com/categories/pcp.htm. Submit ideas for possible future PCP books to the series editor, George A. Reisch, at pcpideas@caruspub.com. Thanks for your consideration.


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The Philosophy and Pop Culture series at Carus Books brings philosophy to general readers by critically exploring the meanings, concepts, and puzzles within television shows, movies, music and other icons of popular culture.