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Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series Book 30) [Kindle Edition]

Henry Jacoby
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An in-depth look at the philosophical issues behind HBO's Game of Thrones television series and the books that inspired it

George R.R. Martin's New York Times bestselling epic fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the HBO television show adapted from it, have earned critical acclaim and inspired fanatic devotion. This book delves into the many philosophical questions that arise in this complex, character-driven series, including: Is it right for a "good" king to usurp the throne of a "bad" one and murder his family? How far should you go to protect your family and its secrets? In a fantasy universe with medieval mores and ethics, can female characters reflect modern feminist ideals?

  • Timed for the premiere of the second season of the HBO Game of Thrones series
  • Gives new perspectives on the characters, storylines, and themes of Game of Thrones
  • Draws on great philosophers from ancient Greece to modern America to explore intriguing topics such as the strange creatures of Westeros, the incestuous relationship of Jaime and Cersei Lannister, and what the kings of Westeros can show us about virtue and honor (or the lack thereof) as they play their game of thrones

Essential reading for fans, Game of Thrones and Philosophy will enrich your experience of your favorite medieval fantasy series.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including Inception and Philosophy, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy, and Mad Men and Philosophy.

Henry Jacoby teaches philosophy at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He is the editor of House and Philosophy and a contributor to South Park and Philosophy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 854 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007GZIGK8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,398 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for teaching undergrads June 27, 2012
Well, I do not want to sound elitist, but I do not really get what great and deep philosophy reviewers expected from a popular philosophy series. This is not a professional work worth publishing in Mind or Analysis, and if you want good modern philosophy, go read Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy series.

But it is a terrific book for an introductory undergraduate course. I see A Song of Ice and Fire as one marvelous thought experiment. You want your students to read Hobbes' Leviathan, and, more importantly, to understand what all this is about? Then make them analyze a situation in Westeros. You want them to remember Jus ad bellum and Jus in bello conditions of Just War theory? Make them analyze War of the Five Kings. Or you want to teach them some of Machiavelli writings, with good examples? You can do it with all these beautifully crafted characters, very realistic and humane. They will be forced to think, and to think hard, in order to argue, for example, for or against the proposition that Ned Stark with all his honor and loyalty is as bad for Westeros, as Cersei Lannister with her lust for power. Which is exactly a goal of an introductory course - to learn something historical, and to learn how to think about difficult issues.

It is very good that modern pop culture from time to time provides such a great educational tool. I really do not like to teach ethics and political philosophy, it is not my area of specialization, but, with some help from this book, it will be less torture for me, and more pleasure for my students.
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53 of 67 people found the following review helpful
This latest entry in the Wiley-Blackwell "Philosophy and Popular Culture" series is geared to coincide with the start of Season 2 of HBO's "Game of Thrones", based on George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy books. ***Although there are a number of excellent essays, there are also a number of severe defects and failings that make this entry in the series lackluster and disappointing. *** These defects are (1) spoilers, (2) unexplored relevant themes, (3) weak essays and inconsistent segmentation, and (4) the recognition of three very peculiar yet persistent phenomena that appear to plague collections of essays of this type.

The "Editor's Note on Spoilers" advises "some readers" who are fans of the HBO series may not have read all five books upon which the series is based, and that they may wish to "delay reading" of six of the 20 chapters. First, most readers of this book most likely will only be fans of the HBO series, and not have read a single book, like myself. Asking them to "delay reading" almost one out of every three essays will most likely result in those essays never ever being read. For those readers that ignore this warning, the spoilers may be confusing at best, upsetting at worst. Second, I disagree with the Editor's Note that "[M]any of the philosophical quandaries can't be discussed without looking at events across the five books". Wrong. Everything covered in these essays is found in Season 1.

I can think of two themes that should have been addressed in this book that were not. First off, where is the essay that deals with the morality of incest?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deeper inquiry into the GOT world May 18, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Each essay offers a brief exploration of a philosophical idea that GOT explores. It is so interesting and adds a new layer to the series itself. Highly recommended. I only wish the essays were longer!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for those with no computer April 12, 2014
By Lola
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 70+ year old mother who is a huge GOT fan. She was so thrilled and uses it as a reference guide.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Depth, both Philosophical and Literary May 18, 2012
This book is okay, and perhaps that's saying too much. As a long time fan of political philosophy and the Song of Ice and Fire series, I had long speculated about the political, ethical, and psychological lessons of the series. I had half-jokingly dreamed of one day teaching a course called "Game of Thrones and Politics." I had also enjoyed another book in this series called the "Lord of the Rings and Philosophy." So, I eagerly bought this book when I saw it in a bookstore one day. Sadly, my impulse buy was a big mistake. The book suffers from two fatal mistakes, which basically negate its value. Firstly, I am not sure if the authors of the essays contained wherein read the series in its entirety, and if they did so, they read it in detail. Their essays are filled with cliches, platitudes, and generalizations about the series that could well apply to any number of characters from many other books. It is as if most of the essays are written to advocate the author's preexisting philosophy views, whatever those may be, with a couple of bones thrown to readers in the form of series references here and there.

Secondly, the book suffers from amateur and shallow essays that betray a lack of deep, nuanced, and even balanced philosophical thought on the part of its authors. In any case, for example, on page 214, we are met with the blanket statement, seemingly devoid of historical nuance that "medieval chivalry was homophobic, sexist, classist, ableist, and probably racist too." While there could possibly be an element of truth to something in that statement, the manner in which it is framed, without qualification, strikes me as rather amateur. And so on. This book is filled with many general philosophical statements.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very thorough if somewhat dry in spots.
Published 1 month ago by David Treciak
1.0 out of 5 stars Sophistry of Thrones: POP!
This book is a waste. I am a philosopher. A real one. An analytic philosopher in a top American PhD program working on Social Epistemology (actually where it began). Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Snee
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but repetitive.
Decent, kinda of simplistic though. I was really fascinated in this book because I love ASOIF and love a good philosophy argument. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kelly
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Helpful
Not helpful, nor insightful. I thought it would give me additional information about the book. However, it did not meet my expectations.
Published 10 months ago by Cynthia S. Ruglovsky
5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to philosophy - who could have guessed Game of...
I have downloaded a few of the book about Game of Thrones. One of the first I read was "Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords". Read more
Published 16 months ago by W Greenhalf
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow
Too Shallow.

Too much beginner's philosophy, I've seen deeper philosophical discussion of the
Books on various forums and discussion boards
Published 16 months ago by DanyR
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords
If you enjoyed reading the books and watching the HBO series, you will love this book. The book compares modern history to the Games' philosophy. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jihada A. Gilcrease
4.0 out of 5 stars useful and clear
easy to read, fun, easy access to philosophy, not the deep and complicated thinking but on the other hand lots of ideas about how to co-think philosophy, politics, and a modern... Read more
Published on April 1, 2013 by black and red
4.0 out of 5 stars Game of Thrones and Philosophy
I got this book for my son. He said it was an interesting read with some new perspectives about the show.
Published on December 19, 2012 by Patty Van Raalte
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough education on philosophy
Basically stated the obvious.
I didn't learn an awful lot of philosophy from the book.
The book consists of many essays by different authors, so the quality is variable... Read more
Published on December 15, 2012 by Benjamin Sinclair
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