Philosophy in Fiction


“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” is a short story written by Ursula Le Guin. The story won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1974. It is a haunting philosophical parable with themes of happiness and sacrifice, which asks the reader to fully engage with difficult questions of ethics and morality.

The story’s last sentence would mark an excellent starting point for any philosophical discussion of ethics:

“But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.”

The full text of the story is available here:


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