We interviewed the man behind Glasgow’s Homer and Game of Thrones philosophy courses

We really wanted to know why

After everyone found out that Glasgow Uni offer a course on Simpsons philosophy, the local internet went a bit mad. Just… why?
The Tab Glasgow decided to speak to course convener Dr John Donaldson, who has also just launched a Games of Thrones philosophy course. to set the record straight about this soon-to-be legendary component.

What made you to start this course?

“The course runs at the Centre for Open Studies at Glasgow University, and so is aimed primarily at the general public, who we are always trying to engage more with.

“It was among several different course ideas we have tried to attract larger class numbers, and has always been a relatively popular course (it’s been running for four years). Since the recent media interest, however, the interest has been exceptional, and the course has been trending on social media. We’ve put on several extra classes as a result.”

What are the specific areas the course will cover?

“The students can expect to be introduced to a variety of areas of philosophy: moral and political philosophy, metaphysics and free will, and the meaning of life.

“Each topic is introduced by being linked to the Simpsons in some way or other. For example, we look at a classic account of what it is to be a virtuous person, given by Aristotle, and use Homer Simpson as a case study – asking: is Homer Simpson a virtuous person?”

Definitely virtuous

Is this course available to students as well as the general public?


What do you hope to achieve from this course? 

“I hope to spur more interest in philosophy among those who take the course.”

And last but not least, who is your favourite character and why?

“Homer.  He’s the funniest.”