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  1. Moments of Change.Greg Littmann - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (1):29-44.
    There is a strong intuition that for a change to occur, there must be a moment at which the change is taking place. It will be demonstrated that there are no such moments of change, since no state the changing thing could be in at any moment would suffice to make that moment a moment of change. A moment in which the changing thing is simply in the state changed from or the state changed to cannot be the moment of (...)
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  2. H.P. Lovecraft’s Philosophy of Science Fiction Horror.Greg Littmann - 2018 - Science Fictions Popular Cultures Academics Conference Proceedings 1 (2):60-75.
    The paper is an examination and critique of the philosophy of science fiction horror of seminal American horror, science fiction and fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). Lovecraft never directly offers a philosophy of science fiction horror. However, at different points in his essays and letters, he addresses genres he labels “interplanetary fiction”, “horror”, “supernatural horror”, and “weird fiction”, the last being a broad heading covering both supernatural fiction and science fiction. Taken together, a philosophy of science fiction horror emerges. Central (...)
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  3. Star Trek: The Wrath of Fandom.Greg Littmann - 2019 - Science Fictions Popular Cultures Academics Conference Proceedings 1 (3):111-119.
    Science fiction fandoms tend to contain significant numbers of fans who feel angry and resentful about the handling of the franchise they are fans of, because of the stories the franchises owners have told. The paper addresses the question of when, if ever, such anger and resentment are justified. Special attention will be paid to Star Trek fandom, but other fandoms will be considered, including those for Star Wars and Doctor Who. Various proposed justifications for anger and resentment will be (...)
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  4.  21
    Contradictory Change.Greg Littmann - 2017 - Vivarium 55 (1-3):227-236.
    Graham Priest has argued that changes occur at a moment of change in which objects are in a contradictory state, being in both the state changed from and the state changed to. In “Moments of Change,” the current author rejected this model on the grounds that every change would require an infinite number of other changes, and that for similar regress problems, the model is not compatible with the Leibniz Continuity Condition that Priest appeals to in the model’s support. In (...)
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  5.  7
    The Friends of a Jedi: Friendship, Family, and Civic Duty in a Galaxy at War.Greg Littmann - 2015-09-18 - In Jason T. Eberl & Kevin S. Decker (eds.), The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 127–135.
    The heroes and villains of the Star Wars saga are probably the most widely recognized fictional characters in the Western world. In particular, the saga is a celebration of friendship and family bonds. Though it is a story of conflict and warfare, grand political concerns about the fate of the galaxy are kept in the background, as the story focuses more on action and the relationships among the main characters. The overwhelming loyalty that the heroes of Star Wars feel for (...)
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  6.  53
    Writing Philosophy for the Public is a Moral Obligation.Greg Littmann - 2014 - Essays in Philosophy 15 (1):103-116.
    Writing philosophy to be read by people who are not professional philosophers ought to be central to the work of professional philosophers. Writing for the public should be central to their work because their professional end is to produce ideas for use by people who are not professional philosophers. Philosophy is unlike most disciplines in that the ideas produced by professional philosophers generally have to be understood by a person before they can be of any use to them. As a (...)
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  7.  16
    Messiahs, Jihads, and God Emperors.Greg Littmann - 2022-10-17 - In Kevin S. Decker (ed.), Dune and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 35–45.
    Paul Atreides's Jihad is only the start of the suffering. Having conquered humanity, Paul becomes dictator of an oppressive theocratic empire that brutally crushes dissent. With his life unnaturally extended by transforming into a human–sandworm hybrid, Leto will rule humanity as “God Emperor” for three and a half millennia. Fremen religion had been carefully cultivated by the Bene Gesserit Missionaria Protectiva, their “black arm of superstition” responsible for manipulating primitive cultures. It is the seeds planted by the Missionaria Protectiva that (...)
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  8.  11
    Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By.Greg Littmann - 2020-08-27 - In Kimberly S. Engels (ed.), The Good Place and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 15–24.
    This chapter discusses the life of Doug Forcett who's famous in the afterlife as the human who most closely guessed the afterlife's true nature in the episode Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By of the show The Good Place. In this episode, Michael and Janet visit Doug. They find him living a life of self‐denial and sacrifice. Michael and Janet had hoped that Doug's life would provide a template for how people should live. One of the reasons that (...)
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  9.  7
    Frankenstein and Philosophy: The Shocking Truth.Michael Hauskeller, Danilo Chaib, Greg Littmann, Dale Jacquette, Elena Casetta & Luca Tambolo - 2013 - Open Court.
    Ever since it was first unleashed in 1818 the story of Victor Frankenstein and his reanimated, stitched-together corpse has inspired intense debate. Can organic life be reanimated using electricity or genetic manipulation? If so, could Frankenstein’s monster really teach itself to read and speak as Mary Shelley imagined? Do monsters have rights, or responsibilities to those who would as soon kill them? What is it about music that so affects Frankenstein’s monster, or any of us? What does Mel Brook’s Frau (...)
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  10.  3
    Seriously Funny.Jason Holt & Greg Littmann - 2013 - In The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy. Oxford: Wiley. pp. 56–68.
    The Daily Show is simultaneously one of the funniest television programs ever made and one of the most earnest voices calling for political change in the United States. Why engage in political mockery like that seen on The Daily Show? Obviously, we like to be entertained, and The Daily Show is very funny; but like the work of other political satirists throughout history, The Daily Show also serves to promote a political agenda. Yet it's precisely The Daily Show's ability to (...)
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  11.  31
    American gods is all lies!Greg Littmann - 2012 - In Tracy Lyn Bealer, Rachel Luria & Wayne Yuen (eds.), Neil Gaiman and philosophy: gods gone wild! Chicago, Ill.: Open Court.
    The chapter is a comparison of Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of artistic value in literature, with particular focus of the appropriate role of the divine and supernatural. The issue is explored through the lens of Neil Gaiman's popular fantasy novel, American Gods. It is argued that Aristotle’s less restrictive model of literary value better allows literature to benefit us as human beings. In particular, Aristotle's appreciation of the need for dark themes and counter-factual portrayals of the universe allows for much (...)
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  12.  75
    Dialetheism and the Graphic Liar.Greg Littmann - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (1):15-27.
    A Liar sentence is a sentence that, paradoxically, we cannot evaluate for truth in accordance with classical logic and semantics without arriving at a contradiction. For example, consider L If we assume that L is true, then given that what L says is ‘L is false,’ it follows that L is false. On the other hand, if we assume that L is false, then given that what L says is ‘L is false,’ it follows that L is true. Thus, L (...)
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  13.  97
    Darwin's Doubt Defended: Why Evolution Supports Skepticism.Greg Littmann - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (1):81-103.
    Since the time of Charles Darwin, there has been concern that the theory of evolution provides fuel for skepticism. This paper presents new arguments that humanity's evolutionary origins are grounds for accepting that the universe is not as it appears to be to us. Firstly, it is argued that we should expect to have an incomplete capacity to comprehend the universe: both the mental limitations of all non-human life and the narrow interests of most humans provide evidence for this. Secondly, (...)
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  14.  1
    Frank Herbert’s Dune as Philosophy: The Need to Think for Yourself.Greg Littmann - 2022 - In David Kyle Johnson (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 673-701.
    The miniseries Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000) and Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune (2003) offer a stark warning that people must think for themselves rather than relying on authority. In particular, they warn against overreliance on leaders and on religious authorities. The series tell the story of how, in the far future, Paul Atreides becomes dictator and religious leader over the human race, bringing slaughter and oppression in his wake. The chapter will consider the views of philosophers like Plato, who believed (...)
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  15.  7
    Good Old Fashioned Mayhem.Greg Littmann - 2013-09-05 - In George A. Dunn & Jason T. Eberl (eds.), Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 214–224.
    Despite the modern trappings the values of the Sons of SAMCRO and their old ladies are even more traditional than those of mainstream society. The parallels between the culture depicted in Sons of Anarchy and the one depicted by Homer's epics make the show philosophically interesting, because moral philosophy in Greece began as a reaction against Homeric values. Just as the Sons bear the Reaper on their cuts, Homeric warriors often decorated their armor with violent images to make clear their (...)
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  16.  2
    People Are Tools.Greg Littmann - 2013-08-26 - In Kevin S. Decker (ed.), Ender's Game and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 212–223.
    Life's hard when you're the last hope for humanity. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is beaten up, socially isolated, lied to, spied on, manipulated, and almost murdered. Colonel Hyrum Graff, principal of the Battle School, takes care to “surround him with enemies all the time,” commanding that “his isolation can't be broken. Ender does nothing to bring this hellish existence on himself. Ender's Game raises difficult moral questions. The naïve response would be to answer both questions, “Never,” unless people are incompetent to (...)
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  17.  20
    Seriously funny.Greg Littmann - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 64:54-59.
    This chapter examines the ethics of political comedy as exemplified by The Daily Show, investigating the issue of when, if ever, it is appropriate to use comedy as a political tool. It is argued that mockery may be useful as a way to keep political issues on people's minds, though it becomes dangerous when used as a substitute for reason.
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  18. Seriously funny.Greg Littmann - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 64:54-59.
    This chapter examines the ethics of political comedy as exemplified by The Daily Show, investigating the issue of when, if ever, it is appropriate to use comedy as a political tool. It is argued that mockery may be useful as a way to keep political issues on people's minds, though it becomes dangerous when used as a substitute for reason.
     
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  19.  2
    Sympathy for the Devils.Greg Littmann - 2014-09-19 - In William Irwin & Christopher Robichaud (eds.), Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 5–22.
    The fundamental conflict underlying the worlds of Dungeons Dragons is that between good and evil. Many philosophers have denied that there is any incompatibility between having free will and our actions being determined. Thorin Axebeard is nothing but a puppet controlled by Dwarven Culture and Psychology tables, dancing along to the dice. What makes the evil monsters of DD philosophically interesting is how obvious the connection often is between their evil behavior and factors entirely outside of their control.
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  20.  6
    Should the Bene Gesserit Be in Charge?Greg Littmann - 2022-10-17 - In Kevin S. Decker (ed.), Dune and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 131–143.
    At the opening of Dune, we find humanity in a political mess, having reverted to a “feudal trade culture” with a hereditary emperor. By Heretics of Dune, the Bene Gesserit are directly ruling in the remnants of the old empire. Self‐discipline is the cornerstone of Bene Gesserit training. They distinguish two types of people: “humans” and “animals.” Considering the best role for the Bene Gesserit in the Dune universe should help to decide what to say about the real world. Over (...)
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  21.  5
    Should Wakanda Take Over the World? The Ethics of International Power.Greg Littmann - 2022-01-11 - In Edwardo Pérez & Timothy E. Brown (eds.), Black Panther and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 61–69.
    Eric Killmonger is a power‐hungry villain and the new world order he wants to set up would be no less oppressive than the one he'd replace. Killmonger foresees a "Wakandan Empire" in which people of African descent are "on top" and the formerly powerful are slaughtered, along with their children and "anyone else who takes their side." "Civilizing barbarians" meant introducing them to Roman technology, administrative and legal systems, and, as the Romans saw it, the superior Roman culture and way (...)
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  22. The friends of a Jedi : friendship, family, and civic duty in a galaxy at war.Greg Littmann - 2015 - In Jason T. Eberl & Kevin S. Decker (eds.), The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy: You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned. Wiley-Blackwell.
     
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  23.  21
    Terror From the Stars: Alien as Lovecraftian Horror.Greg Littmann - 2017-06-23 - In Jeffrey Ewing & Kevin S. Decker (eds.), Alien and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 115–131.
    One reason why the continued popularity of the film Alien (1979) is philosophically interesting is that it bears out the aesthetic theories of seminal American horror-writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) about what makes good science-fiction horror. Lovecraft never directly offers a philosophy of science-fiction horror. However, at different points in his essays and letters, he address genres he labels “interplanetary fiction”, “horror”, “supernatural horror”, and “weird fiction”, the last being a broad heading covering both supernatural fiction and science fiction. Taken together, (...)
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  24.  9
    “The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few”: Utilitarianism and Star Trek.Greg Littmann - 2016-03-14 - In Kevin S. Decker & Jason T. Eberl (eds.), The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 127–137.
    Utilitarianism is the theory that whether an action is morally right or wrong depends entirely on how beneficial or harmful it will be for everyone involved, only the net balance of benefit and harm matters. Most utilitarians believe that the only thing valuable in itself is happiness, and the only thing bad in itself is suffering; so, to maximize utility is to maximize happiness and minimize suffering. Utilitarians would be baffled by the common Vulcan view that emotions are best gotten (...)
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  25.  1
    The Road Out of Mayhem.Greg Littmann - 2013-09-05 - In George A. Dunn & Jason T. Eberl (eds.), Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 225–236.
    In many ways, the values SAMCRO holds dear reflect those of the “warrior” ethic typified by the heroes of Homer's epics. Such values include positive qualities, and less desirable qualities, such as ruthlessness, brutality, and a drive for vengeance. Greek philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle promoted alternatives to these warrior values, some of which may provide a way out of the troublesome life of mayhem that J.T. and Jax seek to leave behind. The desire for freedom is strong in humans. (...)
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  26.  7
    The Waldo Moment and Political Discourse.Greg Littmann - 2019 - In David Kyle Johnson (ed.), Black Mirror and Philosophy. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley. pp. 59–68.
    In “The Waldo Moment,” a virtual bear becomes a successful politician through disrespecting, abusing, and dismissing his political rivals. In 2016, the presidency of the United States was won by Donald Trump, a candidate who took disrespect, abuse, and dismissal of his rivals to heights unprecedented in modern first‐world democracies. Meanwhile, Americans on different sides of the political aisle increasingly see each other as enemies to be denounced and fought, rather than allies to be listened to and engaged with. The (...)
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  27.  49
    Why Don't the Proles Just Take Over.Greg Littmann - 2018 - In Ezio Di Nucci & Stefan Storrie (eds.), 1984 and philosophy, is resistance futile? Chicago: Open Court.
    George Orwell wondered why oppressed proletariats in the communist and capitalist worlds did not rise up and replace the governments that oppressed them with something better for them. This is a puzzle we still face today, wherever a majority faces exploitation. The chapter examines the question of why exploited peoples don’t replace exploitative governments in their own best interest, whether through revolution or through the ballot box. The question is examined through the lens of the political philosophy and political fiction (...)
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  28. Why don't the proles just take over?Greg Littmann - 2018 - In Ezio Di Nucci & Stefan Storrie (eds.), 1984 and philosophy, is resistance futile? Chicago: Open Court.
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