Nov 24, 2011

Motive, Moral Discourse, and Conflict in the Song of Ice and Fire

I've been rather lax in posting on Virtue Ethics Digest of late, a factor principally of slogging through the end of semester and the holiday break, continuing to produce online and handout content for my classes this semester, and following up on contacts made after a set of three conference presentations all within a month of each other.  I've yet to follow-up my post on Madoff and Happiness, and there's plenty other posts on the docket, some of them half-written or  partly developed, others only so far in nuce.

So, for faithful or even occasional Virtue Ethics Digest readers, I proffer a tidbit from the last of those conferences, a short presentation available both as Powerpoint slides (well, actually as a pdf of them) and in video format, a prefiguration of what I intend eventually to turn into a a short volume -- one has to devote to topics the lengths of prose they demand, as as I've discovered, in order to say anything both meaningful and in adequate depth about George R.R. Martin's epic (and still unfinished) fantasy series, much more than a conference presentation would be required.

All I'll say about this here at present is that the gritty, morally complex world Martin develops -- as a "gardener", in his own word, as opposed to the sort of "architect" he credits Tolkien with being -- is one which to me seems almost uniquely well-suited to be understood in terms of Aristotelian moral theory -- read not only through his two Ethics, but also across the Politics, the Rhetoric, and the Poetics.

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