CFP: Heroes and Philosophy

Posted on October 30, 2007


I reckon this one might be worth a punt!

The Blackwell Philosophy and PopCulture Series

David Kyle Johnson, Editor
William Irwin, General Editor

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:

  • Do We All Have a Destiny? Peter Petrelli, Sylar, Freewill and Fate
  • “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.” (Is the past changeable? Is the future “written in stone”?)
  • Painting the Future. (If Isaac can paint the future, can we be free?)
  • Can Hiro Really Travel in Space? (Is teleportation philosophically possible?)
  • Can Hiro really Travel in Time? (Is time travel philosophically possible?)
  • Heroes Time Travel (Is the story consistent?)
  • Physics and Philosophy: The Physical Possibility of Super Powers
  • Matt Parkman, Mind Reading and the Problem of Other Minds
  • Sanjog and the Philosophical Possibility of Dream Manipulation
  • Are Niki and Jessica the Same Person? (Personal identity)
  • Is Niki’s “Power” a Power at All? (Multiple personalities)
  • Neuroscience, Philosophy of Mind and the Art of Watch Repair; Seeing How Things Work and How Sylar Acquires His Powers
  • Hana Gitelman: Personal Identity and Artificial Intelligence (See Comic # 33 & 34 “The Death of Hana Gitelman”)
  • Peter Petrelli, The Haitian and the Philosophical Implications of Memory Loss. (What role does memory play in identity?)
  • What is evil? Sylar, Linderman and Working for the Greater Good.
  • Freedom vs. Security in a Futuristic Post Nuclear Holocaust: Restricting Liberty to Protect the Public
  • Sylar’s “Evolutionary Imperative” and the Ethics of Evolution (Does evolution leave room for morals? Did our moral sense evolve? Is it ethically acceptable to interfere in evolution (to progress or hinder it by genetic engineering)?)
  • Stealing Swords and Saving the World; The Appropriate Use of Powers (Hiro cheating Vegas, Jessica stealing tuition money, Linderman torturing with healing powers (see Comic 24-29 “War Buddies.”))
  • The Ring of Gyges and the Hero’s Duty; Does the Ability to Do Good Create an Obligation to do Good?
  • Nietzsche’s Will to Power and the “Superman” of Heroes
  • Working for The Company; Ethical Obligations and Following Orders.
  • Is Love all that Matters? The Meaning of Life and Finding Kindred Spirits.
  • The Drive to be Special: Who’s to Blame—Sylar or his Mother?
  • “Activating Evolution”; Science, Pseudoscience and Scientific Progress (Telling the geniuses from the cranks?)
  • Can the Simplest of Questions Ever be Answered? (Why are we here? What is the Soul? Why do we dream?)
  • The Power of Persuasion (Eden McCain)
  • Voting to Include Characters? Communitarian Involvement in Fetish TV Shows.
  • Plagiarism and Heroes. Isn’t this just X-men?

Contributor guidelines:

1. Abstract of paper (100-500 words).

2. CV or resume for each author and co-author.

3. Submission deadline for abstracts: Dec 10, 2007

4. Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers (tentative): April 1, 2008

5. Submission deadline for final papers June 1, 2008

6. Abstracts should be submitted by e-mail, with or without Word attachment.

Send by e-mail to:

David Kyle Johnson