Popular Culture and Philosophy

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

Discworld and Philosophy, CFA deadline extended to 7/22

Posted on | June 5, 2014

Call for Abstracts
Discworld and Philosophy
Edited by Nicolas Michaud

Abstracts and subsequent essays must be accessible to a lay audience as well as philosophically substantial. All writing should be engaging and directly relevant to the  Discworld books, movies and games. comics or the TV series. This is a chance to engage one of the most compelling, rich, and creative worlds ever made through the accidentally dropping of an egg sandwich on a beach. Potential authors are encouraged to engage creative and challenging philosophical ideas that themselves challenge our own assumptions about the world, particularly if they’re funny.*

***The 10 to 12-paged papers are written in a conversational style***

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submission deadline for abstracts (100-500 words) and CV’s: July 22, 2014
  2. Notification of accepted abstracts: July 30
  3. Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers: Sept. 15

Kindly submit abstract (with or without Word attachment) and CV by email to: Nicolas Michaud (philosophylives@gmail.com).

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, questions such as…

Moral Questions: Is it right to do steal, kill, and lie even if you have an Ankh-Morpork guild permit?
Social Questions: Who’s the foreigner? You or the people in the countries you visit (on your broomstick)?
Epistemic Questions: Do wizards really know anything if the spells have thoughts of their own?
Philosophy of Science: In a world were anything can happen, does science matter?

Or any other though-provoking philosophical issue brought up by Terry Pratchett’s Discworld!

For Example,

  • Hello! My name is, DEATH: Does Personifying “Death” Make Dying Any Less Petrifying?
  • Wearing the Black Ribbon: Should Vampires Abstain?
  • Inclusion Through Exclusion: How to Get Along with (almost) Everyone in Ankh-Morpork.
  • Witches and Wizards: Resolving the Tensions Between Science and Nature
  • Running to Run Another Day: Rincewind and the Virtue of Cowardice
  • The Power of Belief: Making (and Killing) God
  • Vimes and Thin Soles: A Defense of Communitarianism
  • “Ook”: Why it’s Better to be an Orangutan
  • Knowing the Minds of Others: Practical Applications of “Borrowing”
  • The Will to Manipulate the Heck Out of Everyone: Nietzsche on Vetinari
  • Death Has Your Hourglass: A Problem in Free Will
  • Why Good Men Just Kill You And Don’t Go On and On About It
  • A Feminist Defense of Why Wizardry is Inferior and Wizards are Obnoxious
  • The Disc Exists: Possible Worlds and Ontology
  • The Danger of Music: Why Vetinari Should Have Listened to Plato
  • The Power of Narrative: How Stories Write Us.
  • The Last Hero Can’t Find His Dentures: Why Eudemonia Takes a Lifetime
  • Practical Philosophy: A Guide to a Life Less Miserable by Ly Tin Weedle

Please visit http://www.opencourtbooks.com/categories/pcp.htm for more information on Open Court’s Pop Culture and Philosophy series.

To propose ideas for future volumes in the Open Court series please contact the Series Editor at pcpideas@gmail.com.

Thank you!
Nicolas Michaud

*Funny is good, but not required. What philosophers often think is funny, i.e. jokes that begin with… “Ok, so what’s the difference between sense and reference?” or “A traveling salesman stops at a fabricated barn for the night…” and “There’s this qualia zombie and he walks into a bar… but he feels nothing!” are often not funny. However, non-philosophers tend to think jokes about philosophers falling down deep wells are very funny… i.e. “If a philosopher falls down a well, does he make a sound?” I hear that one is hysterical.


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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.