Author (Your Name)

Kris Miranda, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Philosophy Dept.


Jill P. Gordon

Second Advisor

James C. Barrett

Third Advisor

Lydia L. Moland


In an extended piece of speculative fiction (specifically, a cross between the sword-and-sorcery and superhero genres), I try to explore the complexities of ethical deliberation in difficult circumstances. Through my protagonist I also present an “alternative” to Enlightenment ethics. I’ve referred to this alternative as an “ethics of the badass and the beautiful,” a little (but only a little) jokingly. The reason for doing all of this through fiction, and not a conventional philosophical paper, is that I believe my ethical education started in stories, and it’s still in good stories and the creative exploration of concretely realized personalities (as opposed to abstract thought experiments) that I find the most interesting insights concerning the two Big Questions in ethics: What sort of person should I be? And what sort of life should I lead? Often, of course, the insights in stories lead to more questions, or are questions themselves, but that’s not so bad. I don’t want to say that those Big Questions should keep you up every night, but I also don’t think that answering them definitively is an easy or simple endeavor. Indeed, I think most people who reflect on it at length know that it isn’t. And I think stories, more so than theoretical work, speak to this. And apart from the philosophical reasons for writing a swords-and-superheroes story, I figured it would be a lot more fun. And I was (mostly) right. Not that theoretical work isn’t important. It’s very important. But it can’t stand alone.


philosophical fiction, superhero, philosophy, creative writing, ethics