by dagmar wilhelm
Episode 1: “Chaos is a ladder.”
*Trigger Warning: mention of violence (including sexual violence)
G. R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones (GoT) is a versatile source for philosophical reflection on the current pandemic. Literature and art generally can interact with philosophy in many different ways. In this blog I will draw on GoT to highlight certain aspects that might be less transparent in the real world.
BY ALISON ASSITER
In the unprecedented circumstances of the present pandemic, many groups of people have been hailed as heroes. Those who work in hospitals and care homes, the transport workers, those delivering the post, and shop workers are amongst those whose work has rightly been celebrated. On our university campus, that of UWE Bristol, one of the Nightingale Hospitals has been set up with unprecedented speed.
Many of us who normally work elsewhere, who may be furloughed or made redundant, have been looking for opportunities to ‘help’, by delivering food to those who may not have enough to eat, by phoning someone who is completely isolated, or even by applying to pick fruit and vegetables. All of these activities are vitally important. Others of us, though, may be paralysed by anxiety or fear. Some resort to washing their hands constantly, maybe others slump in front of the TV or carry a large bottle of bleach around with them everywhere in their own small flat. Some simply feel a constant sense of unease.
You may not see how philosophy could be of any relevance or use at the present time. I would like, in this blog, to explain one way in which philosophy can be helpful.
UK Philosophy and COvid-19
Do you want to know how philosophy is relevant to COVID-19? The British Philosophical Association is collecting resources on this topic. For further information, have a look at their website.
Philosophy and the pandemic: reading suggestions!