A top university is offering an introductory course to philosophy – based on Star Wars.
The University of Glasgow will offer ‘Star Wars and philosophy: Destiny, justice, and the metaphysics of the force’ on May 4.
People will have the chance to learn about themselves and how morally responsible they are during the one day open access course – against a backdrop of George Lucas’ epic.
Philosophy tutor Dr John Donaldson, who previously ran a course examining the virtues of Homer Simpson, said he hoped it would be popular with students and newbies alike.
He said: “I hope it will be as popular as the last course we ran.
“It will be relevant to the Star Wars. You may know that in the Star Wars series, the universe is governed by a mysterious thing called a force.
“Star Wars will be a constant backdrop to the course.
“Scenes from Star Wars will be used to illustrate these points.
“The whole theme of the course is organised around what can we say about a universe in which people’s actions are fixed or directed by a thing that is external to them – the force.
“It really uses the Star Wars stories as a stage on which to have these philosophical issues play out.”
The course will examine if a person has a destiny and if they can really be responsible for their actions.
Fun examples from the Star Wars films will be used to help young philosophers get their heads round the complexities of metaphysics, free will and the notion that a person has a destiny.
The course advertises itself as a day event that will examine questions “concerning the relationship between there being a fixed future, free will, and moral praise or blame, all against the backdrop of George Lucas’ epic tale of triumph of good over evil in a galaxy far, far away”.
Last year, Dr Donaldson ran a course called ‘D’oh! The Simpsons introduce philosophy’.
During the course, he took moments from The Simpsons and related them to questions around morality.
He also said Homer Simpson was a “complex character” that was difficult not to like.
But despite the quirky links to popular film and television, Dr Donaldson said the courses were just a fun way to help people learn.
He added: “I’m not the first person to try and link philosophy to popular culture.
“People have tried to do it before in various ways before.”
The Star Wars taster course is for anyone to attend to get a feel for university level philosophy.
It will cost £30 for the day and take place on May 4 and May 6.