I didn't know much about Icelandic Sagas before I heard about Aoife's project, I just knew that they were long and complicated and involved feuds and fate. But Aoife, a philosophy student at Queen's University Belfast, knew a lot more and wanted to try to make sense of all the heavyweight moral decisions and decisive actions that go on in them. Her project is partly an investigation of a moral framework, and partly a research project into historical and anthropological reconstruction, but along the way she tries out a number of philosophical different approaches to understanding character traits.
Here are some things that Aoife's suggested for you to read:
- The saga that Aoife is talking about is called Hrafnkel Saga Freygoda. There's a wikipedia article about it here which has links to several translations, and Aoife was working from Gwyn Jones' edition.
- Óskar Halldórsson (1989) “The Origin and Themes of Hrafnkels Saga”, Sagas of the Icelanders, edited by John Tucker, Garland Publishing: New York.
- Tomasson, Richard F. (1980) Iceland : The First New Society, University of Minnesota Press.
- Kristán Kristánsson (1998), "Liberating Moral Traditions: Saga Morality and Aristotle’s “Megalopsychia”", Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol.1, No.4, pp397-422. (Appears on the publisher's page here, paywalled but consider using twitter and the hashtag #icanhazpdf).
- Vilhjálmur Árnason (1991), "Morality and Social Structure in the Icelandic Sagas", The Journal of English and Germanic Philosophy, Vol. 90, No.2. (Appears on JStor here, paywalled, consider #icanhazpdf).
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