Popular Culture and Philosophy

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

The Devil and Philosophy, CFA

Posted on | May 24, 2013

Call for Abstracts

The Devil and Philosophy: Deliberation, Deduction, Debate, and Details, of Course

Edited by Robert Arp, robertarp320@gmail.com


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

(2) Abstracts due: July 1, 2013

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

(4) First drafts of papers due: September 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 frequently refer to pop culture sources, such as movies, TV shows, popular novels, rock songs, etc., related to the Devil

Any relevant topic considered, but here are some possibilities:

– On the distinction between the Devil, Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub, and other demons

– The ontology/categorization of the Devil and other evil beings

– Golding’s The Lord of the Flies and The Lord of the Flies (Beelzebub)

– Philosophical/cosmological dualism, God, and the Devil

– The Devil and the definition and nature of evil

– The Devil and the human need to anthropomorphize evil, harm, and negative consequences

– The seemingly universal need for an evil Devil-type figure to counterbalance a good God-type figure in the belief systems of human history

– The similarities and differences between the Devil in Christianity and evil figures in other belief systems in the world and/or in human history

– The Omen (movie), and the theology of the Antichrist

– Can a Christian be epistemologically justified in believing in the Devil?

– Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell (TV show), South Park’s Satan, and the use of satire and humor to debunk false religious beliefs, to include belief in the Devil

– C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and the use of logical fallacies to influence or manipulate beliefs

– Logic, rigorous explanation, and thanking God for the fact that the “Devil is in the details”

– C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, Thrasymachus, and a world where selfishness and greed are noble

– The Devil’s Advocate (Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino movie), AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” Van Halen’s “Runnin’ with the Devil,” and the lure of worldly power and pleasure

– The Devil as an immoral archetype in Christianity

– “Sympathy for the Devil” and the Devil as a representation of evil in all of us, or as a tragic figure

– Virtue ethics, the Seven Deadly Sins, and the Devil as a model of vice

– Lucifer and pride as the “king” of vices

– Spawn, Constantine, and the possibility of redemption

– Dante’s Inferno and fear as the ultimate moral motivator

– The Devil on my shoulder and temptation to do something immoral

– Faust, Crossroads (awesome Ralph Macchio movie), “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” making a deal with the Devil, and short-term vs. long-term pleasures/pains

– On the significance of this claim: You can teach a demon to act according to deontological principles as well as bring about the best consequences like a good utilitarian, but he’s still a demon

– The Devil and the end justifies the means

– The Devil and sexuality

– Satanic-themed heavy metal music (e.g., bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Possessed, Death) and its influence on behavior

– The Exorcist, The Devil Inside, and grounds for correctly interpreting “demonic possession” as a mental psychosis

– “The Devil made me do it” and the philosophy of mental illness

– “The Devil made me do it,” free will, and determinism

– Lucifer, hubris, and free will

– LaVey Satanism and the non-existence of Satan (!)

– LaVey Satanists, recruiting the mentally ill, and fallacious thinking

– The influence of Nietzsche’s Übermensch on LaVey’s Satanism

– LaVey Satanism vs. the worship of Satan (theistic Satanism) as represented in songs such as “The Number of the Beast” (Iron Maiden) and movies such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Believers, and The 7th Victim.

– Wiccan connections to Satanism

– The politics of Satanism and the right to freedom of religious expression

– Kolakowski’s “A Stenographic Report of the Devil’s Metaphysical Press Conference” and commentary on capitalist vs. socialist societies


The Devil and Philosophy will be a book in Open Court Publishing Company’s Popular Culture and Philosophy Series: 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.