Popular Culture and Philosophy

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

Scott Adams and Philosophy, Deadline extended.

Posted on | November 13, 2017

Scott Adams and Philosophy
Edited by Dan Yim, Galen Foresman, and Robert Arp

Submit abstracts to: scottadamsphilosophy@gmail.com

“My hypothesis is that the political side that is out of power is the one that hallucinates the most—and needs to—in order to keep their worldview intact. For example, when President Obama was in office, I saw all kinds of hallucinations on the right about his intentions to destroy America from the inside because he ‘hates’ it. That was a mass hysteria. If President Obama wanted to destroy America, he failed miserably. We’re stronger than ever” (from “The Magical Thinking Opposition,” Scott Adams’s Blog, August 22, 2017, http://blog.dilbert.com/ ).

You wouldn’t expect a quotation like this to come from the likes of a guy who produced the comic strip, Dilbert, but satirists like Scott Adams are usually pretty sharp. So sharp, in fact, that a week after the first Republican debate in August of 2015 (where most everyone thought Trump had done himself in with his Rosie-O’Donnell reference in response to Megyn Kelly’s obviously loaded question about Trump’s misogynistic comments) Adams predicted: “he will be our next president” (“Clown Genius,” August 13, 2015). As the Trump campaign continued, Adams kept pace and blogged almost daily about Trump’s ability to hypnotize and persuade the American public. In October of 2017, Adams’s book will be published: Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter. Besides the impressive array of philosophical topics exhibited in Adams’s blog posts, there are the many topics that have been explored over the 28 years or so that Dilbert has been produced. This book seeks to explore many of Adams’s philosophical thoughts, ideas, and arguments.

  • By Nov. 27, 2017, send proposed abstracts of no more than 300 words to: scottadamsphilosophy@gmail.com
  • First drafts of accepted essays must be completed by January 8, 2018.
  • 3,000 to 3,500-word philosophy papers are written in a conversational style for a lay audience

Any relevant topic considered, but here are some possibilities to prompt your thinking:

– Logic and the use of persuasion
– Grandiose delusions, self-deception, self-efficacy, self-serving bias, and their usage in persuasion
– A description and assessment of Adams’s persuasion filter
– Adams’s understanding of hypnosis as a persuasive tool
– How to characterize stupidity
– Adams’s assessment of the everyday person’s procedure of rational justification for belief assessment
– Whether truth is over-rated.
– Might truth be a kind a grand project of chasing after windmills?
– Fake it until you make it: adaptive self-deception.
– Socrates, self-awareness, and the Dunning–Kruger effect
– Philosophy of humor
– The epistemic value of humor
– Can humor reveal the truth about reality in ways that formal arguments cannot?
– What is the philosophical usefulness of satire?
– Dilbert, and the nature and value of corporate bodies
– On Norm Solomon’s claim, “The Dilbert phenomenon accepts—and perversely eggs on—many negative aspects of corporate existence as unchangeable facets of human nature… Dilbert speaks to some very real work experiences while simultaneously eroding inclinations to fight for better working conditions.”
– Is the Peter Principle a real principle?
– Eudaimonia and the meaningfulness (or lack thereof) in vocation.
– What role does work or vocation play in the flourishing human life?
– Normative ethical systems and workplace behavior
– Four stages of competence and ultracrepidarianism in the workplace or other areas
– Characters of Dilbert comics as tropes of different philosophical theories of human nature
– Pessimism versus optimism about the human condition
– Nietzschean perspectives on life
– Sartrean existentialist perspectives on life
– Camus’ absurdist perspectives on life
– Kierkegaardian hope in the midst of absurdity
– God’s Debris, The Religion War, God, and panpsychism in philosophy of mind
– God’s Debris, The Religion War, self-deception, delusion, and religious belief
– God’s Debris, The Religion War, and the epistemology of religious extremism
– How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, happiness, and the good life

Submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to: scottadamsphilosophy@gmail .com

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Since its inception in 2000, Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy® series has brought high-quality philosophy to general readers by critically exploring the meanings, concepts, and puzzles within television shows, movies, music and other icons of popular culture.

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