Read Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords by Henry Jacoby William Irwin Online


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 quesAn 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 ThronesDraws 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....

Title : Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords
Author :
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ISBN : 9781118161999
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 286 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords Reviews

  • Tiffany
    2019-03-20 13:26

    After abandoning George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" in disgust on page 29 having suffered mightily through cardboard characters and all the muddled authorial insight of a shoelace, I swore I would not get sucked into the tv show. But people kept talking about it. I blame them. Frankly, I was and remain appalled by the brevity of story intervals between the metronomically pornographic refrains of nude-women-sucking-cock, which occur with the regularity and inevitability of network television commercial breaks. Despite these cringe-worthy moments, I quickly became addicted to this show. My addiction is entirely the fault of the sumptuous costuming and gratuitously gorgeous set decor, not to mention those heinous location scouts, who routinely choose some of the most beautiful places on the earth to film, not to mention the sheer brilliance of the cast. Curse them! Indulge me just a moment to name some names: Charles Dance ... Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Peter Dinklage ... Lena Hedley ... wow, wow and triple wow. Game of Thrones and Philosophy: In the vein of Lost and Philosophy, and House and Philosophy, also edited by Henry Jacoby, this series is pop philosophy and if you like both pop culture and thinking about things that make your brain hurt, anything in William Irwin series is a sheer entertainment. Some of the more thought-provoking essays included Tedesco's "It Would Be Mercy ..." which reviews the concepts of passive versus active euthanasia; Stacy Goguen nods at the brilliant Gayatri Spivak when she suggests how chivalry and colonialism cause similar cultural rot and ruination. It is true that a few of these essays read more like fandom than philosophy (let us not forget these are still the uncool kids writing about the cool ones) but I'd rather read a twenty-first century nerdlet's Hobbsian take on Westeros than what Snookie ate for breakfast.-----One essay in particular has been rattling around in my brain: Jacoby's "No One Dances the Water Dance", which makes the claim that martial arts studies are good for the character. In a section entitled "Virtues and the Good Life" Mr. Jacoby introduces virtue ethics, and as we know, these are not governed by universal ethics--but rather by culturally narrow ones. To live happily and well--to bring eudaimonia, aka well-being or flourishing, or flow, to one's existence one should practice virtue. The point is that almost everyone who has ever studied martial arts realizes the master-pupil relationship is essentially based on economics. A master teaches for the money. While we all love the stories where the master recognizes the excellent student and suddenly the economic relationship is transcended as the student is raised to prodigal son, this recurring theme has been done to death. The relationship is rather based on the equation of how much I am willing to pay you (or work for you) for what you will teach me. Once filthy lucre has been introduced into the equation what results is virtue for sale. So, yes, Zen, Taoism, Ninjutsu and needle-work all have components that are as much choice as GDP. If it is true that virtue can be learned through practice, and a master can induce virtue in student in a way that a personal trainer can induce muscles in her client, then if virtue equals happiness then yes, happiness is for sale for the price of a personal coach. Really?

  • Aspasia
    2019-02-17 08:18

    Game of Thrones and philosophy in the same sentence? This pop culture/philosophy mash-up caught my eye because 1. Game of Thrones is my favorite show and I need something to hold me over until next year, 2. Since I'm going back to school, I thought this book would help get my brain back into a semi-scholarly mode.Topic Covered Case Studybiomedical ethics Bran Stark, Khal Drogometaphysics direwolves, wargs, wightsevil & injustice Cersei (need we say more?)moral luck vs. moral responsibility Tyrion Lannistercultural relativism Danyfatalism "Winter is Coming"game theory Lannisters' modus operandiwhy be moral? Joffrey BaratheonOther topics include Ned Stark's idealism and how/why that ended badly for him; epistemology- "what we know, how we know it, and what it means to know something" (143)- "You know nothing, Jon Snow"; the dangers of chivalry (keeps women dependent and narrowly defined gender roles & societal roles for both sexes); virtue ethic theory (how to lead the good life), and the golden rule of game theory: "Understand others as they understand themselves" (262).Sounds mind numbing, but the essays are written in down-to-earth styles (with some humor here and there) and really helps the reader think about the characters and "what makes them tick" and they approach life.***You can read more of my book reviews at***

  • Tara deCamp
    2019-02-27 10:24

    I actually hadn't heard of this book until my aunt picked it up for me. (Thank you so much for being thoughtful and generous, Aunt Jennifer!) I was pleasantly surprised to find a book pairing one of my favorite series with philosophical thought -- they really go hand in hand. This book was very well written and brought forward some wonderful essays and discussions. I spend a lot of time talking and arguing about ASoIaF online, and though I haven't been doing much of that lately, this book sparked my interest again.

  • Alexandra Sundarsingh
    2019-03-07 09:29

    A useful introduction to many basic philosophers, but not a deep consideration of the issues in the novels. Instead superficial "answers" appear to be presented. Not impressed.

  • Joshua Mingo
    2019-03-10 10:21

    The main flaw with this book and this series is that the first quarter will be good, but three-quarters is where they play fast and loose with relevant topics. It's like reading an essay on something else while obviously being forced to make references to a pop culture thing...

  • Marlowe
    2019-03-06 09:22

    I’ve been aware of the pop culture philosophy books for a few years now, but I’ve never actually taken the time to read one. But when they mentioned Game of Thrones and Philosophy on a recent episode of Sword & Laser, I reserved a copy from the library.If you majored in Philosophy in college or enjoy reading Foucault in your free time, this isn’t the book for you. But as someone who has only had snippets of exposure to philosophical thought without much context or explanation, I did find this book useful. A few basics of thought are illustrated using examples from the Song of Ice and Fire series.There were quite a few problems with the book, though. For one thing, it seems to be just a grab bag of articles with little organization. I feel that it would have been more useful to organize the articles into a sort of “history of philosophy,” or something along those lines. That would have made this a far more useful book than the current “hey, something this guy wrote kinda sounds like something this other guy wrote” higgledy-piggeldy mixture we currently have.I felt that the connection to Game of Thrones was tenuous. Some of the articles did try to offer some insight from philosophical thought into the series (and visa versa), but for the most part, the chapters were simply explaining philosophy in layman’s terms while shoe-horning names and phrases from the series whenever grammatically possible – particularly in the early chapters.I also got the feeling that some of the authors may have never read the Song of Ice and Fire series, or at least not in a long time, given that some of the errors were on rather egregious. For example, on page 13, the author writes that a character could “flee into exile with the surviving Targaryens, like Ser Jorah Mormont…” Except that Mormont’s exile had absolutely nothing to do with the Targaryens. Or on page 224, the author writes of Daenerys: “Fleeing King’s Landing, her mother, Rhaella, gives birth to Dany and Viserys aboard a ship and then dies.” Well, for one thing, neither Daenerys nor Viserys was ever born on a ship. Also, Viserys is many years older than Daenerys. But I suppose that at least the names and familial relationships were correct…Anyways, as I said, I think that a fan of Game of Thrones who wants a quick introduction to a few snippets of philosophical thought set in a familiar context may get something from this book. Otherwise, give it a pass.

  • Ash
    2019-03-18 13:03

    Game of Thrones and Philosophy takes a philosophical approach at Westeros and all of the characters inhabiting it. Although, I have never any of the books but have watched all three seasons of Game of Thrones, I did enjoyed this book. I love looking at concepts in many different ways and finding different interpretations. It makes me wonder if George R.R. Martin give this much thought to his multifaceted characters and intricate world.I also liked learning about different key terms in philosophy lie metaphysics, metaphysical fatalism, authenticity and freedom, moral relativism and cultural relativism, moral luck and resultant luck, moral evil and natural evil, and game theory. When Game of Thrones comes back next year, I'm going to look at the characters in a different light.

  • Yong Lee
    2019-03-20 06:25

    I love the "Philosophy of " series of books. They use popular entertainment to make academic points about philosophy. I also loved the Game of Throne books. If you love the GOT books or TV series, and love ideas and the process of thought, this Philosophy of GOT book could pair perfectly with what you love and help you double your enjoyment, like red wine with steak.

    2019-02-17 06:26

    L'unico appunto che mi sento di fare a questo libro é che non ha segnalato gli spoiler; ma come dici che chi ha visto le prime tre serie puó stare tranquillo e poi mi sveli praticamente la vita di tutte le protagoniste femminili della serie, che devo pensare? Che tutti i maschi muoiono?

  • Indah Threez Lestari
    2019-02-21 07:32

    75 - 2015

  • Joseph
    2019-03-09 10:10

    found this book at the book store and thought it would be interesting to read. I will inform you how it is when I finally finish book 5 and then read it.

  • Filip
    2019-02-23 08:12

    It wasn't a bad book, but I'm a bit disappointed with it. The philosophical angle was quite interesting though at times it felt a bit forced and some topics I wish would have been looked on in greater detail (game theory, I'm looking at you). On the other hand the analysis of the books felt a bit shallow at times, especially in regards to Daenerys and Tyrion's characters and it could be seen that it is based more on the show than the books. Still, I think I will take more interest in books from this series.

  • Paul J
    2019-02-28 12:25

    Philosophy is infinitely complex and thought-provoking, but perhaps not always so accessible. Linking in with pop culture phenomenons (such as Game of Thrones) is a great way to catch my interest and get me thinking about some of these grand concepts. I suspect the actual philosophy is on the beginner friendly side (it's not a textbook after all), but I found it very engaging when applied to the GoT universe. I purchased this as part of a Humble Bundle with a number of similar books from the same publisher and will definitely be reading more of them.

  • Mykey
    2019-02-22 05:16

    Henry Jacoby does a good job analyzing the philosophy found in "Game of Thrones.""A reader lives a thousand lives - a man who never reads, only one." -George R. R. MartinThis is my new response to the question, "why do you read?"

  • Klara
    2019-02-22 05:33

    nice read and very interesting. some valid points are made but the author is very subjective in the perspectives he shows us. either way, it was a very fun read.

  • Elliot Huxtable
    2019-02-22 09:11

    A very comprehensive collection of essays about GoT. Very interesting.

  • Amazingsomeone
    2019-02-21 07:14

    I don't know why, I just didn't enjoy this book as much as other books in this series.

  • Christopher
    2019-03-08 06:28

    I will start off by saying that I have enjoyed a few of the pop culture & philosophy works that have been written before. I especially love Star Wars and Philosophy and Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind. But, I fell that this one wasn't as good as the other. Sure it has the same problems as some of the other works in this series (essays that are either uninteresting or too complicated), but the biggest problem I found with it was that it wasn't organized very well. Like nearly all other Pop Culture and Philosophy books, it is split up into parts that usually give the essays a in that part a sort of overriding theme. This one splits up into 5 parts, but none of them are given an overriding theme. Many articles that appear in part 1 may seem very similar to articles in part 3 or 5 or whatever. Without that little extra guidance, some essays were difficult to follow or seemed to be repeats of previous essays. Still, there were a few gems that stood out (chs. 1, 3,6, 14, 16, & 18) that are worth checking this book out from a library, but I would do that first before I bought this.

  • Tiffani
    2019-03-19 07:28

    First off, this is not directly related to the Song of Ice and Fire book series or the television series. That being said, the various authors use the book and television series to explore issues of philosophy. With the disclaimer that I do not have an extensive background in philosophy, I found this to be an entertaining (re)introduction to the subject. Over the course of twenty chapters, the various authors tackle topics like the search for happiness, whether one should be good or moral even if one has absolute (or nearly absolute) power, feminism, living an authentic life, idealism, fatalism and more. For those who are fans of the books and television series, this is a really fun read as the authors interpret and explore the characters and their actions. For those who are not familiar with the series, this might be less fun but it is still a worthwhile exploration of philosophy and life.This is not a book that one must read from beginning to end. It is made for jumping around from chapter to chapter. I, however, was hooked from page one. Some of my favorite chapters were Maester Hobbes Goes to King's Landing, Playing the Game of Thrones: Some Lessons from Machiavelli, "You Know Nothing, Jon Snow": Epistemic Humility Beyond the Wall, No One Dances the Water Dance, The Death of Lord Stark: The Perils of Idealism and It Would be a Mercy: Choosing Life or Death in Westeros and Beyond the Narrow Sea.This is part of the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. Other entries in this series I've enjoyed are True Blood and Philosophy and Batman and Philosophy.

  • Sandra
    2019-02-21 08:32

    This book needs to make up its mind: are we writing about the television series (which had only aired 1 season at the time the essays for this book were written), or the books? Some writers only seemed familiar with the show or book 1, and didn't bother to include further development into their essays. Other writers did read some of the other books. It might have been best if the book had just limited itself to book/season 1. Another thing that bothers me, is that these people were quoting the tv-show. I know some quotes aren't in the book, but sometimes it's just plain lazy, not to mention annoying to see the episode titles pop up in the middle of the text. I thought that's what footnotes were for..Overall though, this book was hit or miss. In the later half I found some essays I liked, but overall I wasn't fond of this book. Many writers seemed to use this book to finally write about their area of expertise in philosophy, which gives us half-rushed introductions into areas of philosophy which they painstakingly try to fit in with the happenings in the book. It was a frustrating read, sometimes.Other essay writers did seem to know what they were doing. My favourite essays are those on The Water Dance (an analysis of Arya's journey, as compared to Eastern traditions); Joffrey's morals and Chivalry. Though the last essay reads as a social justice essay rather than a philosophy one, it points out some vital things about chivalry both in this world as in Westeros.In short: not a book I'd recommend buying, but one I'd recommend borrowing instead.

  • Carla
    2019-03-02 09:09

    This was an interesting read indeed. It raises questions about some of the most controversial and interesting topics in ASOIAF series (incest, Ned Stark's morality, the madness of the Targaryen's, etc). These modern day philosophers explore and analyze the characters in the series with backing from Plato, Aristotle, Hume and countless other great philosophers. I enjoyed exploring the topics addressed and it has given more insight into the world of ASOIAF. While reading certain viewpoints I wondered if GRRM started with a foundation in philosophy and applied some of the principles with help from the great philosophers. On a side note a few years ago I gave my youngest brother all the philosophy books I owned because I didn't think I wanted them anymore and I hadn't touched them in years (plus he's a smart ass and is always trying to be all philosophical and shit). Anyway...I must say after reading this, I rather regret giving away my works of Aristotle, Plato, Machiavelli, and Hume. Good thing about giving them away is now I get to go spend money on more books to try and replace them...hehehe!!!

  • Shiloh
    2019-02-18 11:07

    This is a rather flimsy, thin addition to the Pop Culture and Philosophy series. There are a couple of good essays that have some actual robust analysis, but most of them are very surface-level examinations of the characters and world of A Song of Ice and Fire. Likewise, though the back of the book claims that the essays will be focused on the TV show, there's a weird back-and-forth regarding how much of the show any one author seems to have seen, and how much of the books they're familiar with. 2012 may have been too early to produce a book like this, considering that Game of Thrones and A Dance with Dragons were only a year old. One season of a multi-season show isn't enough for robust analysis, and failing to discuss A Dance with Dragons (which all of the authors do) creates a lot of problems in their arguments, especially concerning Tyrion and Daenerys. In order to get the book out within the time frame available (between May 2011 and March 2012), the book had to have been rushed through production, and it shows.

  • Luke Nyland
    2019-02-21 05:30

    I found this book generally quite interesting, but while it's not directly affiliated with the Song of Ice & Fire franchise, I do feel it could have had a bit more relevance to the show/books.Don't get me wrong, the show/books are constantly referred to, but I got the distinct feeling throughout this book that here are a bunch of philosophers with very interesting things to talk about... "oh, and here's a Game of Thrones reference. That'll keep the readers interested!"Aside from the occasional mentions of Stanley Baratheon and Master Luwin giving me pause; I just felt that this would have been far more enjoyable if each essay was highlighting and discussing a part of the story philosophically, rather than each philosophical essay trying to find a parallel with the story ad hoc. One or two of the authors are clearly fans of the story, though, and theirs were the essays I enjoyed most!

  • Julian
    2019-02-17 09:04

    What an entertaining and relatively short book, combining two of my favourite things. While the essays read as somewhat rushed and short, they nonetheless were a great vehicle for laymen like myself to help understand various concepts from predominantly western classic philosophy ( there was one chapter on Zen, Taoism and Arya's needle).Just like I am enjoying the journey of the characters in Westeros and beyond, I also enjoyed thinking ( through this book) about their morals, their Machiavallianism, their ability to utilise phronesis, how leviathan-like Hobbs would have rated them, how free and authentic were their actions, and whether they were happy and living meaningful lives ( or not).There was also a section on philosophical zombies ( and white walkers) examining what it is like to be conscious, and the old chestnut of love and honour also came up, as did game theory (obviously!)In short, a nice read, but bring on season 3 HBO!

  • Christopher Kellen
    2019-02-25 11:11

    Game of Thrones and Philosophy was a relatively interesting read. I've read some of the other entries in the ...and Philosophy series and found them all to be engaging, but this one seemed somehow lacking to me. The arguments, while well-presented, left something to be lacking in a deeper examination of philosophy. They drew heavily on comparisons to the work of famous philosophers (including, notably, nearly the same conclusions in two separate essays regarding the work of Thomas Hobbes) but did little to further the insight. Most of them ended on either questions or a trite phrase that pushed off the understanding of the point, rather than drawing a firm or even somewhat credible conclusion.Perhaps it's just the additional study of philosophy that I've done since last time I read one of these books, but I'd hoped for deeper explorations and insights from these essays, rather than facile comparisons and incomplete conclusions.

  • Matthew
    2019-03-11 12:12

    Overall rating 3.4 stars. The essays in this book are highly uneven in quality, and a large portion of them are held back by sticking to analyzing the first book in order not to spoil viewers of the HBO series (at the time of publication, only season 1 had aired), and thus many of the points made in said analyses are blown to pieces by events in future books. Some writers make factual errors in regard to the books, such as a particularly painful moment in an otherwise thought-provoking essay in which the author claims the sword Needle is made of Valyrian steel (it's not), and in another case spelling characters' names wrong (I'm willing to attribute this one to an overzealous Autocorrect). In summary, this would have turned out much better had the authors/editor/publisher waited a few years and not tried to immediately cash in on the TV show hype, and had they had a more alert information checker.

  • M
    2019-02-24 11:20

    That was fun! Flew right through it. The only chapter I had to skip was the one with the angry tumblr lady squawking about how chivalry is ableist. Not because she's wrong. Just because this was actual print media and both it and I deserve better.I was especially partial to the bit that likened the House of Black and White to Zen practice.My favorite thing was probably that it was published right after Season 1 aired, and only two of the thirty contributors referenced anything that happened after Papa Stark got his honorable little domepiece uncapped. As if contributing to a book of Game of Thrones philosophical essays wasn't pretentious enough, THESE two hadda go and read books, like a coupl'a nerds.Disgusting.

  • Петър Стойков
    2019-02-20 05:19

    Тази книга е част от много любопитната серия, която използва примери от популярни телевизионни шоута, книги и филми, за да обяснява основни положения във философията.Вписвайки се в интригата на Игра на тронове, авторът използва политическата ситуация във Весерос за да обясни идеите на Джон Лок, Платон, Томас Хобс, Макиавели и др. влиятелни философи, изказали се по въпросите на държавността, управлението, гражданския морал и т.н. като за всеки намират герой, който най-добре ги въплъщава.Като цяло занимателно и любопитно. Може да даде начален философски тласък на хора, досега неизкушени от подобни мисли.

  • Steph
    2019-03-12 12:11

    As with any compilation, this was a largely mixed bag. Some chapters were very much Philosophy 101, with inelegant use of Game of Thrones to demonstrate the theories. Others, however, used A Song of Ice and Fire to reveal something about our own understanding of philosophy, which was a fascinating and insightful use of the text. Particular stand outs: Tedesco's chapter on biomedical ethics, Goguen's chapter on the injustice of chivalry and Timm's chapter on the definition of insanity. I also rather enjoyed the sections on game theory and epistemic humility. Overall this is an interesting volume which certainly made me critically examine some of the structures in Martin's books.

  • Laiya
    2019-03-19 08:22

    A MUST-READ NOT FOR THOSE LOOK ING FOR PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLANATIONS OF G.O.T. AS MUCH AS FOR THOSE INFESTED IN PHILOSOPHICAL COMCEPTS THAT ARE PORTAYED BY G.O.T.. I loved this book because it was basic a generalized study on philosophy that used mere examples from Game of Thrones, as opposed to the other way around. The narrator adapts to suits Game of Thrones' feel and does a great job of conveying mood. Every chapter was informative, although the martial arts part felt a bit out of place. I finished it all on one road trip. My favorite chapters included those on metaphysics, feminism, and Machiavelli. I am happy that I own it. Will probably listen to it again. Excited to share with others.