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Ender's Game and Philosophy

by D. E. Wittkower Lucinda Rush

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card's award-winning 1985 novel, has been discovered and rediscovered by generations of science fiction fans and young adult readers, banned and challenged in schools, assigned in high school English classes, and adopted as reading by the US Marine Corps. Ender's Game and its sequels explores rich themes-the violence and cruelty of children, the role of empathy in war, and the balance of individual dignity and the social good-with compelling elements of a coming-of-age story and exciting and immersive battle scenes.Ender's Game and Philosophy brings together over thirty philosophers to engage in wide-ranging discussion on the troubling, exciting, and fascinating issues raised in and amidst the excitement and fear of Orson Scott Card's novels and Gavin Hood's film.Authors address issues such as:the justifiability of pre-emptive strikes, how Ender's disconnected and dispassionate violence is mirrored in today's drone warfare, whether the end of saving the species can justify the most brutal means, the justifiability of lies and deception in wartimes, how military schools produce training in virtue, how Ender as the "good student" is held to a different educational standard, which rules can be broken in games and which cannot, Ender's world as a mirror of our own surveillance society, the moral hazards of child warriors, the value of Ender's ability to sympathize with his enemies, the meaning of a "hive-mind," the limits of our ability to relate to one, the relationship between Ender's story and Card's Mormonism.The authors of Ender's Game and Philosophy challenge readers to confront and work through the conceptual and emotional challenges that Ender's Game presents, bringing a new light on the idea of a just war, the virtues of the soldier, the nature of childhood, the social value and moral corruption of lies and deception, the practices of education and of leadership, and the serious work of playing games.

Facebook and Philosophy

by D. E. Wittkower

Facebook and Philosophy is an entertaining, multi-faceted exploration of what Facebook means for us and for our relationships. With discussions ranging from the nature of friendship and its relationship to "friending," to the (debatable) efficacy of "online activism," this book is the most extensive and systematic attempt to understand Facebook yet. And with plenty of new perspectives on Twitter and Web 2.0 along the way, this fun, thought-provoking book is a serious and significant contribution for anyone working with social media, whether in academia, journalism, public relations, activism, or business. Exploring far-reaching questions - Can our interactions on Facebook help us care about each other more? Does Facebook signal the death of privacy, or (perhaps worse yet) the death of our desire for privacy? - Facebook and Philosophy is vital reading for anyone involved in social networks today.

Facebook and Philosophy: What's on Your Mind?

by D. E. Wittkower

Facebook and Philosophy is an entertaining, multi-faceted exploration of what Facebook means for us and for our relationships. With discussions ranging from the nature of friendship and its relationship to "friending," to the (debatable) efficacy of "online activism," this book is the most extensive and systematic attempt to understand Facebook.

iPod and Philosophy

by D. E. Wittkower

The iPod is transforming the lives of millions, changing their relationship to music and to each other. In iPod and Philosophy, 18 philosophers with diverse specialties and points of view bring their expertise to bear on this international cultural phenomenon. They explore such questions as how individuals become defined by their iPods, what the shuffle feature says about the role of randomness in people's lives, and much more.

Mr. Monk and Philosophy: The Curious Case of the Defective Detective

by D. E. Wittkower

Mr. Monk and Philosophy is a carefully and neatly organized collection of eighteen chapters divided into exactly six groups of precisely three chapters each. Drawing on a wide range of philosophers-from Aristotle and Diogenes, to Siddhartha Gautama and St. Thomas Aquinas, to David Hume and Karl Popper-the authors ask how Adrian Monk solves his cases, why he is the way he is, how he thinks, and what we can learn from him. Some of the authors suggest Monk is a kind of tragic hero, whose flaws help us live out and expunge the fear and anxiety we all experience; that he is more than just his personality or memories, but something more individual and indefinable; and that his most distinctive traits are not the traits that make him a detective, but those that make him a friend. His most notable trait is the dedication he shows to his late wife, Trudy.Other authors explore how Monk encounters the world, arguing that his genius comes not from logic or reasoning, but from his ability to see his surroundings in a pre-conceptualized way; that there isn't as much distance between his rational beliefs about crimes and evidence and his irrational phobic beliefs as there might seem; and that his phobias have themselves made him approach himself and the world as something to be overcome.Just how does Mr. Monk come to his conclusions? Does he use inductive, deductive, or abductive reasoning? Is he dependent on a false notion of the law of noncontradiction? Is it possible that his reasoning might have more to do with constructing harmonious stories than it does with evidence, causes, or insights?Some contributors ponder Monk's name and what it means given his views on religion. Some authors argue that Mr. Monk's approach to the world is fundamentally similar to that of medieval monastic orders; that his rituals and deductive 'dancing' show how he exhibits a kind of shamanism; and that he acts in accordance with the Bodhisattva ideal, bringing others to enlightenment through circumstances and by accident, even though he has no such intention or goal.In one chapter, the author asks how the character Monk is related to other similar characters, arguing that Monk and House are closely related characters, each based on the conflict between reason and emotion which exemplifies the motif of the "troubled genius;" that Monk and House both pursue ethical practices and goals even as they fail at the everyday face-to-face ethics of normal social interactions; and that great detectives all, through their flaws, help us to understand and forgive ourselves for our flaws.And finally, there are several chapters in which the authors consider Monk from the psychologist's perspective, discussing how Monk's relationship with Trudy, while having unhealthy codependent elements, demonstrates some important aspects of successful romantic partnerships; how laughter plays a difficult role in mental illness, and the difficult position that the show and therapists are placed in when having to treat seriously disorders that are both tragic and comic; and how, from a psychoanalytic perspective, Monk's inability to mourn shows us why we both reject and are drawn towards death.In the words of author D. E. Wittkower, "In order to be sure that the reader is able to enjoy the book, every chapter will have an even number of words. You'll thank me later."

Philip K. Dick and Philosophy

by D. E. Wittkower

Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) is the giant imagination behind so much recent popular culture--both movies directly based on his writings, such as Blade Runner (based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau plus cult favorites such as A Scanner Darkly, Imposter, Next, Screamers, and Paycheck and works revealing his powerful influence, such as The Matrix and Inception. With the publication in 2011 of volume 1 of Exegesis, his journal of spiritual visions and paranoic investigations, Dick is fast becoming a major influence in the world of popular spirituality and occult thinking.In Philip K. Dick and Philosophy thirty Dick fans and professional thinkers confront the fascinating and frightening ideas raised by Dick's mind-blowing fantasies. Is there an alien world behind the everyday reality we experience? If androids can pass as human, should they be given the same consideration as humans? Do psychotics have insights into a mystical reality? Would knowledge of the future free us or enslave us? This volume will also include Dick's short story "Adjustment Team," on which The Adjustment Bureau is based.Philip K. Dick and Philosophy explores the ideas of Philip K. Dick in the same way that he did: with an earnest desire to understand the truth of the world, but without falsely equating earnestness with a dry seriousness. Dick's work was replete with whimsical and absurdist presentations of the greatest challenges to reason and to humanity--paradox, futility, paranoia, and failure--and even at his darkest times he was able to keep some perspective and humor, as for example in choosing to name himself 'Horselover Fat' in VALIS at the same time as he relates his personal religious epiphanies, crises, and delusions. With the same earnest whimsy, we approach Philip K. Dick as a philosopher like ourselves--one who wrote almost entirely in thought-experiments and semi-fictional world-building, but who engaged with many of the greatest questions of philosophy throughout the Euro-American tradition.Philip K. Dick and Philosophy has much to offer for both serious fans and those who have recently learned his name, and realized that his work has been the inspiration for several well-known and thought-provoking films. Most chapters start with one or more of the movies based on Dick's writing. From here, the authors delve deeper into the issues by bringing in philosophers' perspectives and by bringing in Dick's written work. The book invites the reader with a casual familiarity with Dick to get to know his work, and invites the reader with little familiarity with philosophy to learn more. New perspectives and challenging connections and interpretations for even the most hard-core Dick fans are also offered. To maximize public interest, the book prominently addresses the most widely-known films, as well as those with the most significant fan followings: Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau. Along with these "big five" films, a few chapters address his last novels, especially VALIS, which have a significant cult following of their own. There are also chapters which address short stories and novels which are currently planned for adaptation: Radio Free Albemuth (film completed, awaiting distribution), The Man in the High Castle (in development by Ridley Scott for BBC mini-series), and "King of the Elves" (Disney, planned for release in 2012).

The Philosopher's Book of Questions and Answers

by D. E. Wittkower

Your life through the lens of the world's greatest thinkers! Do you ever wonder how important money really is in life or what you need to do to achieve happiness? With The Philosopher's Book of Questions and Answers, you will be one step closer to solving these uncertainties. Inside, you'll find the basics of philosophy, written in plain English, and thoughts for applying these important theories to your own life. You'll also be encouraged to dig deep into the philosophical reasoning behind your everyday actions with a series of fascinating prompts, such as: If you had ten times your wealth and ten times your income, what would you do then that you can't do now? What's a version of that activity that you could do right now? Is it ten times less meaningful, important, or enjoyable than the activity you would do with more money? From Socrates and Epicurean to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, The Philosopher's Book of Questions and Answers will not only help you grasp history's greatest thoughts, but will also unveil the world in a whole new light.

The Philosopher's Book of Questions and Answers

by D. E. Wittkower

Your life through the lens of the world's greatest thinkers! Do you ever wonder how important money really is in life or what you need to do to achieve happiness? With The Philosopher's Book of Questions and Answers, you will be one step closer to solving these uncertainties. Inside, you'll find the basics of philosophy, written in plain English, and thoughts for applying these important theories to your own life. You'll also be encouraged to dig deep into the philosophical reasoning behind your everyday actions with a series of fascinating prompts, such as: If you had ten times your wealth and ten times your income, what would you do then that you can't do now? What's a version of that activity that you could do right now? Is it ten times less meaningful, important, or enjoyable than the activity you would do with more money? From Socrates and Epicurean to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, The Philosopher's Book of Questions and Answers will not only help you grasp history's greatest thoughts, but will also unveil the world in a whole new light.

Showing 1 through 8 of 8 results

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