Dune and Philosophy: Weirding Way of the Mentat

Overview

Frank Herbert’s Dune is the biggest-selling science fiction story of all time; the original book and its numerous sequels have transported millions of readers into the alternate reality of the Duniverse. Dune and Philosophy raises intriguing questions about the Duniverse in ways that will be instantly meaningful to fans. Those well-known characters—Paul Atreides, Baron Harkkonen, Duncan Idaho, Stilgar, the Bene Gesserit witches—come alive again in this fearless philosophical ...

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Dune and Philosophy: Weirding Way of the Mentat

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Overview

Frank Herbert’s Dune is the biggest-selling science fiction story of all time; the original book and its numerous sequels have transported millions of readers into the alternate reality of the Duniverse. Dune and Philosophy raises intriguing questions about the Duniverse in ways that will be instantly meaningful to fans. Those well-known characters—Paul Atreides, Baron Harkkonen, Duncan Idaho, Stilgar, the Bene Gesserit witches—come alive again in this fearless philosophical probing of some of life’s most basic questions.

Dune presents us with a vast world in which fanaticism is merciless and history is made by the interplay of ruthless conspiracies. Computers have long been outlawed, so that the abilities of human beings are developed to an almost supernatural level. The intergalactic empire controlled by a privileged aristocracy raises all the old questions of human interaction in a strange yet weirdly familiar setting.

Do secret conspiracies direct the future course of human political evolution? Can manipulation of the gene pool create a godlike individual? Are strife and bloodshed essential to progress? Can we know so much about the future that we lose the power to make a difference? Does reliance on valuable resources—such as “spice,” oil, and water—place us at the mercy of those who can destroy those resources? When gholas are reconstructed from the cells of dead people and given those people’s memories, is the ghola the dead person resurrected? Can the exploitation of religion for political ends be reduced to a technique?

Philosophers who are fans of Dune will trek through the desert of the Duniverse seeing answers to these and other questions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812697155
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Series: Popular Culture and Philosophy
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 941,313
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Invitation vii

Ecology of Muad'Dib 1

Facing the Gom Jabbar Test Jeffery Nicholas 3

The Golden Path of Eugenics Stephanie Semler 13

Shifting Sand, Shifting Balance Louis Melançon 27

Curse of the Golden Path Sam Gates-Scovelle 37

Politics of Muad'Dib 51

The American Fremen Shane Ralston 53

What's Wrong with Politics in the Duniverse? Eva Erman Niklas Möller 61

A Universe of Bastards Matthew A. Butkus 75

Ethics of Muad'Dib 89

Power Mongers and Worm Riders Christopher Ciocchetti 91

Just What Do You Do with the Entire Human Race Anyway? Greg Littmann 103

Good and Evil in David Lynch's Dune Simon Riches 121

Self of Muad'Dib 129

A Ghola of a Chance Sam Gates-Scovelle Stephanie Semler 131

Wiping Finite Answers from an Infinite Universe Kristian Lund 149

Memories Are Made of Spice Adam Ferner 161

Heroism of Muad'Dib 175

Paul Atreides the Nietzschean Hero Roy Jackson 177

Friedrich Nietzsche Goes to Space Brook W.R. Pearson 189

Son of the Curse of the Golden Path Sam Gates-Scovelle 207

Appendixes 219

References 221

The Almanak en-Ashraf 225

Killing and Healing Words 231

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