Call for Abstracts The Last of Us and Philosophy

Call for Abstracts 

The Last of Us and Philosophy 

Edited by Joshua Horn 

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

Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium. Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Essays may deal with the HBO show and/or either or both of the two games.

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

  • Truth Telling and Lying: Should Joel have Lied to Ellie?
  • Stealing vs. Looting: When might it be Permissible to Steal or Loot?
  • What is Joel Morally Permitted to do to Protect Ellie?
  • Frank’s Solitary Survivalism: Do we Owe Anything to Each Other?
  • The Ethics of Cannibalism: David’s Dietary Choice
  • Attachment and Connectedness: When is it Appropriate to Dislodge from Others?
  • What makes the World of The Last of Us Unique?
  • Does the Moral Permissibility of Actions Change in an Apocalyptic Setting?
  • Is the World of The Last of Us a ‘State of Nature’?
  • Justice as Vengeance: Ellie and Abby’s Journey
  • Natural Law and Positive Law: Marleen’s Understanding of Law and Justice
  • The Politics of Resistance: Fireflies and Washington Liberation Front (WLF)
  • Ethical Considerations for Quarantines in a Pandemic
  • Is it Morally Permissible to Kill the Infected?
  • Black Market Economies: The Ethics of Smuggling Medicine and Other Goods
  • Autonomy and Paternalism—Overriding Ellie and Frank’s Decisions About Death
  • The Morality of Suicide: The Tragedy of Henry and Sam
  • Are Cordyceps Conscious?
  • The Connectedness of Cordyceps: Hive Mind Theory
  • When do “We” Cease to Exist After Infected?
  • Ellie, Riley, and Dina’s Love Stories
  • Lev, Gender, and Being True to the Self
  • Religions and Cults: The Code of the Seraphites
  • Finding Meaning to Life in The Last of Us
  • Forgiveness and Guilt: Ellie, Abby, and Tommy’s Narrative Arcs
  • Is Religion and Spirituality Still Important in the World of The Last of Us?
  • God’s Permission of Suffering: Theodicy in The Last of Us

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submission deadline for abstracts (350-500 words) and CVs: June 5
  2. Submission deadline for drafts of accepted papers: September 5

Kindly submit by e-mail (with or without Word attachment) to

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