Dune and Philosophy
Weirding Way of the Mentat
Edited by Jeffery Nicholas
Volume 56 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series
“This wonderful book tries to answer some of the disturbing questions which haunt us as we read Frank Herbert’s Dune Chronicles. Next to a message from one of those blue-in-blue-eyed, red-mouthed, spice-eating Mentats from the far future, Dune and Philosophy is the most satisfying set of answers we could wish for in these lost days before the great Jihad.”
—Tony Burns, author of Political Theory, Science Fiction and Utopian Literature
“For seeker’s of Dune’s many wisdoms, Dune and Philosophy is an indispensible companion to the novels. Revealing the conceptual terrain of Herbert’s created world, the volume is an awareness spectrum narcotic second only to the spice itself.”
—Fionn Dempsey, philosopher and new media activist
\“Dune and Philosophy is a fine example of how science fiction can help us understand philosophical concepts and philosophy can deepen our appreciation of literary themes. This is especially true with regard to those universal concerns at the heart of both the Duniverse and philosophy: politics, ethics, self-knowledge, and the good life.”
—James M. Okapal, Missouri Western State
University Frank Herbert’s Dune saga, the most widely read science-fiction story of all time and of all time to come, presents us with a cosmos in which fanaticism knows no mercy and history is made by the interplay of ruthless conspiracies.
What happens when genetic manipulation creates a godlike messiah? Must the overthrow of a brutal dictatorship generate more problems than it solves? Does our reliance on valuable resources—oil or addictive spice—place us at the mercy of those who can destroy those resources? Can we resurrect the dead by rebuilding persons from a few of their bodily cells?
Dune and Philosophy ambushes the Duniverse from all directions. Those anxiously admired or fondly hated characters—Paul Atreides, Baron Vladimir Harkkonen, Duncan Idaho, The God-Emperor Leto II, the Bene Gesserit witches—speak once more in the fearless philosophical sifting of life’s timeless questions.
Jeffery Nicholas is an associate professor of philosophy at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon.