Westworld and Philosophy


Call for Abstracts

Westworld and Philosophy

Edited by Susanne E. Foster and James B. South

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

Please circulate and post widely.

Apologies for cross posting.

To propose ideas for future volumes in the Blackwell series please contact the Series Editor, William Irwin, at williamirwin@kings.edu

If you have comments or criticisms for the series, please contact the series editor after reading “Fancy Taking a Pop?” and  “Writing for the Reader: A Defense of Philosophy and Popular Culture Books”

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

“These violent delights have violent Ends:” The relation of love to consciousness; Black and White: The duality of human nature; The metaphysics of human consciousness; Robots, zombies, and dystopia; Pessimism and human nature; Hosts, humans, and free choice: Are any of us free?; Hosts and animals: the zoopolitics of Westworld; Anthropocentrism: Why does the man in black think the maze is for him?;  the relation between technicians and hosts; Who is it for?: Ford, Delos Inc., and personal/corporate interests; Memory: how are human and artificial memories created; The ethics of using hosts and robots for human pleasure; Memory and freedom: Why did Maeve leave the train? Rebellion by the hosts: Is it justified? Dreaming: Its metaphysics and phenomenological aspects; Descartes, dreaming, and knowing you’re in a dream; Friendships in Westworld; Through the looking glass: What is the nature of reality? How is host reality different from human reality? Stories and the quest for meaning: Do we need stories to make life meaningful? Gods, humans, and hosts: the philosophy of religion inWestworld; Evolution and mistakes: Humans and hosts; Finitude, death, and resurrection; Relation of themes in Westworld to other works of Jonathan Nolan; Ford as Dr. Frankenstein: Humans and monstrosities; Shame and the nude body: Humans, hosts, and the viewer’s gaze; the role of musical themes in Westworld and the composer’s immortality; The meaning of mazes and games in Westworld; Relation of the TV series to the original movie and the significance of authorial intention.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submission deadline for abstracts (300-500 words) and CVs: January 15, 2017.
  1. Submission deadline for drafts of accepted papers: June 16, 2017.

Kindly submit by e-mail (with or without Word attachment) to: james.south@marquette.edu

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