Monday, December 01, 2014

The Philosophy of Pratchett

Terry Pratchett as philosopher. Fans of the UK-based author’s Discworld series will not be surprised to think about Pratchett in those terms.

With more than 75 million copies of his books available around the world, he is one of our planet’s top selling writers. Forty Discworld novels have been published since the first, The Colour of Magic, was released back in 1983. But, according to The Guardian, a new about to be released book about Pratchett and his work will be the first to look at the author as the philosopher he may very well be.
Edited by philosophy professors and Pratchett fans James South and Jacob Held, the collection of essays examines questions including “Plato, the Witch, and the Cave: Granny Weatherwax and the Moral Problem of Paternalism”, “Equality and Difference: Just because the Disc Is Flat, Doesn’t Make It a Level Playing Field for All”, “Hogfather and the Existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard”, and “the Importance of Being in the Right Trouser Leg of Time”.
South, associate professor of philosophy at Marquette University, is adamant Pratchett’s novels “hold up to sustained philosophical reflection”
“Pratchett is a very smart man, a gifted writer, and understands as well as any philosopher the power of storytelling and the problems humans face in making sense of their lives and the world they live in,” South said. “Or, as Death puts it so well: ‘DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR TRUST IN ROOT VEGETABLES. WHAT THINGS SEEM TO BE MAY NOT BE WHAT THEY ARE.’ This is a truth that Pratchett relatedly acknowledges and tries to get his readers to acknowledge as well.”
You can read the full piece here.


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