Explore the universe of Frank Herbert’s Dune in all its philosophical richness
“He who controls the spice controls the universe.” Frank Herbert’s Dune saga is the epic story of Paul, son of Duke Leto Atreides, and heir to the massive fortune promised by the desert planet Arrakis and its vast reservoirs of a drug called “spice.” To control the spice, Paul and his mother Jessica, a devotee of the pseudo-religious Bene Gesserit order, must find their place in the culture of the desert-dwelling Fremen of Arrakis. Paul must contend with both the devious rival House Harkonnen and the gargantuan desert sandworms—the source of the spice. The future of the Imperium depends upon one young man who will need to lead a new jihad to control the universe.
Dune and Philosophy recruits 23 philosophers to sift wisdom from Frank Herbert’s Duniverse, including the first of an expected series of films following Paul “Muad’Dib” Atreides and his descendants, captivatingly brought to the big screen by Denis Villeneuve in 2021. Part of the New Wave of science fiction of the 60s and 70s, Dune is characterized by literary experimentation with shifting styles, differing narrative points of view, and with the “psychedelic” culture of the period. In Dune, the long-term strategies and intricate plots of warring Great Houses are driven not just by Heighliner spacecraft and lasguns, but also by mind-expanding drugs, psychic powers, dystopian themes, race memories, and martial arts allowing control of the mind and the body. Substantial yet accessible chapters address philosophical questions including:
- Is it morally right to create a savior?
- Would interplanetary travel change human nature?
- What is the deeper meaning of desert ecologies?
- In conflict, how can you stay light years ahead of your opponents?
- Are there some drugs we would want to be addicted to?
- Does history repeat itself?
Tens of thousands of years into an intergalactic future, can humans endure or will we sacrifice what is most important in our humanity for power, glory, religion and of course, the control of the spice? Dune and Philosophy sets an intellectual course through sand and stars to find out.