Search results for: the-chronicles-of-narnia-and-philosophy

The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy

Author : Gregory Bassham
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The Chronicles of Narnia series has entertained millions of readers, both children and adults, since the appearance of the first book in 1950. Here, scholars turn the lens of philosophy on these timeless tales. Engagingly written for a lay audience, these essays consider a wealth of topics centered on the ethical, spiritual, mythic, and moral resonances in the adventures of Aslan, the Pevensie children, and the rest of the colorful cast. Do the spectacular events in Narnia give readers a simplistic view of human choice and decision making? Does Aslan offer a solution to the problem of evil? What does the character of Susan tell readers about Lewis’s view of gender? How does Lewis address the Nietzschean “master morality” embraced by most of the villains of the Chronicles? With these and a wide range of other questions, this provocative book takes a fresh view of the world of Narnia and expands readers’ experience of it.

Supervillains and Philosophy

Author : Ben Dyer
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The devil gets his due in the latest entry in the Pop Culture and Philosophy series. Supervillains and Philosophy features an international cabal of philosophers and comics industry professionals conspiring to reveal the dark details — and deeper meanings — lurking behind today’s most popular comic book monsters. Whether it’s their moral justification for world domination or the wavering boundaries they share with the modern anti-hero, everyone's favorite villains generate as much attention as their heroic counterparts. The 20 essays in this accessible book explore the nature of supervillainy, examine the boundaries of good and evil, offer helpful advice to prospective supervillains, and untangle diabolical puzzles of identity and consciousness. All the legends are here, from Dr. Doom and the Spectre to the Joker and the Watchmen, reconsidered through the lens of classic and modern philosophy.

The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy

Author : Randall E. Auxier
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From the bedtime story by L. Frank Baum to the classic 1939 film, no story has captured the imaginations of generations of children — and adults — like The Wizard of Oz. The story of Dorothy’s journey through Oz, the colorful characters, places, songs, and dialogue have permeated popular culture around the world. The contributors to this volume take a very close look at The Wizard of Oz and ask the tough questions about this wonderful tale. They wonder if someone can possess a virtue without knowing it, and if the realm of Oz was really the dream or if Kansas was the dream. Why does water melt the Wicked Witch of the West and why does Toto seem to know what the other characters can’t seem to figure out? The articles included tackle these compelling questions and more, encouraging readers to have discussions of their own.

The Grateful Dead and Philosophy

Author : Steve Gimbel
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This book is another one of those late-night Grateful Dead inspired dorm room conversations with friends . . . only this time it’s your professors sitting cross-legged on the floor asking if anyone else wants to order a pizza. The Grateful Dead emerged from the San Francisco counter-culture movement of the late 1960s to become an American icon. Part of the reason they remain an institution four decades later is that they and their fans, the Deadheads, embody deviation from social, artistic, and industry norms. From the beginning, the Grateful Dead has represented rethinking what we do and how we do it. Their long, free-form jams stood in stark contrast to the three minute, radio friendly, formulaic rock that preceded them. Allowing their fans to tape and trade recordings of shows and distributing concert tickets themselves bucked the corporate control of popular music. The use of mind-altering chemicals questioned the nature of consciousness and reality. The practice of “touring,” following the band from city to city, living as modern day nomads presented a model distinct from the work-a-day option assumed by most in our corporate dominated culture. As a result, Deadheads are a quite introspective lot. The Grateful Dead and Philosophy contains essays from twenty professional philosophers whose love of the music and scene have led them to reflect on different philosophical questions that arise from the enigma that is the Grateful Dead. Coming from a variety of perspectives, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, The Grateful Dead and Philosophy considers how the Grateful Dead fits into the broader trends of American thought running through pragmatism and the Beat poets, how the parking lot scene with its tie-dyed t-shirt and veggie burrito vendors was both a rejection and embrace of capitalism, and whether Jerry Garcia and the Buddha were more than just a couple of fat guys talking about peace. The lyrics of the Grateful Dead’s many songs are also the basis for several essays considering questions of fate and freedom, the nature-nurture debate, and gamblers’ ethics.

Led Zeppelin and Philosophy

Author : Scott Calef
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Led Zeppelin, who bestrode the world of rock like a colossus, have continually grown in popularity and influence since their official winding up in 1980. They exasperated critics and eluded classification, synthesizing blues, rock, folk, rockabilly, funk, classical, country, Indian, and Arabic techniques. They performed the alchemical trick of transmuting base led into gold—and platinum—and diamond. They did what they would, finding wisdom through personal excess and artistic self-discipline. “Not a coda to Zeppelin’s legacy, but a blast of metaphysical graffiti as relevant today as the first time we heard the opening chords of ‘Stairway to Heaven’. From Kant to ‘Kashmir’, from Freud to ‘Fool in the Rain’, Calef and company explore Zeppelin’s music in an introspective, suggestive manner worthy of both a blistering Page solo and a bawdy Bonham stomp.” —BRANDON W. FORBES, co-editor of Radiohead and Philosophy “Led Zeppelin’s albums, personalities, live performances, art work, myths, influences, and more, all come under the microscope. Compelling insights and observations add more depth to a subject that continues to thrill and inspire. Each chapter is driven by an unquenchable thirst for Zeppelin knowledge and pulls the reader deeper into the world of Led Zeppelin . . .” —DAVE LEWIS, editor, Tight But Loose

Mr Monk and Philosophy

Author : D. E. Wittkower
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Mr. Monk and Philosophy is a carefully and neatly organized collection of eighteen chapters divided into exactly six groups of precisely three chapters each. Drawing on a wide range of philosophers—from Aristotle and Diogenes, to Siddhartha Gautama and St. Thomas Aquinas, to David Hume and Karl Popper—the authors ask how Adrian Monk solves his cases, why he is the way he is, how he thinks, and what we can learn from him. Some of the authors suggest Monk is a kind of tragic hero, whose flaws help us live out and expunge the fear and anxiety we all experience; that he is more than just his personality or memories, but something more individual and indefinable; and that his most distinctive traits are not the traits that make him a detective, but those that make him a friend. His most notable trait is the dedication he shows to his late wife, Trudy. Other authors explore how Monk encounters the world, arguing that his genius comes not from logic or reasoning, but from his ability to see his surroundings in a pre-conceptualized way; that there isn’t as much distance between his rational beliefs about crimes and evidence and his irrational phobic beliefs as there might seem; and that his phobias have themselves made him approach himself and the world as something to be overcome. Just how does Mr. Monk come to his conclusions? Does he use inductive, deductive, or abductive reasoning? Is he dependent on a false notion of the law of noncontradiction? Is it possible that his reasoning might have more to do with constructing harmonious stories than it does with evidence, causes, or insights? Some contributors ponder Monk's name and what it means given his views on religion. Some authors argue that Mr. Monk's approach to the world is fundamentally similar to that of medieval monastic orders; that his rituals and deductive ‘dancing’ show how he exhibits a kind of shamanism; and that he acts in accordance with the Bodhisattva ideal, bringing others to enlightenment through circumstances and by accident, even though he has no such intention or goal. In one chapter, the author asks how the character Monk is related to other similar characters, arguing that Monk and House are closely related characters, each based on the conflict between reason and emotion which exemplifies the motif of the “troubled genius;” that Monk and House both pursue ethical practices and goals even as they fail at the everyday face-to-face ethics of normal social interactions; and that great detectives all, through their flaws, help us to understand and forgive ourselves for our flaws. And finally, there are several chapters in which the authors consider Monk from the psychologist’s perspective, discussing how Monk’s relationship with Trudy, while having unhealthy codependent elements, demonstrates some important aspects of successful romantic partnerships; how laughter plays a difficult role in mental illness, and the difficult position that the show and therapists are placed in when having to treat seriously disorders that are both tragic and comic; and how, from a psychoanalytic perspective, Monk’s inability to mourn shows us why we both reject and are drawn towards death. In the words of author D. E. Wittkower, "In order to be sure that the reader is able to enjoy the book, every chapter will have an even number of words. You’ll thank me later."

Hitchcock and Philosophy

Author : David Baggett
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The shower scene in Psycho; Cary Grant running for his life through a cornfield; “innocent” birds lined up on a fence waiting, watching — these seminal cinematic moments are as real to moviegoers as their own lives. But what makes them so? What deeper forces are at work in Hitchcock’s films that so captivate his fans? This collection of articles in the series that’s explored such pop-culture phenomena as Seinfeld and The Simpsons examines those forces with fresh eyes. These essays demonstrate a fascinating range of topics: Sabotage’s lessons about the morality of terrorism and counter-terrorism; Rope’s debatable Nietzschean underpinnings; Strangers on a Train’s definition of morality. Some of the essays look at more overarching questions, such as why Hitchcock relies so heavily on the Freudian unconscious. In all, the book features 18 philosophers paying a special homage to the legendary auteur in a way that’s accessible even to casual fans.

Johnny Cash and Philosophy

Author : John Huss
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Interest in the Man in Black has grown since his death in 2003, with increased record sales, cover videos by groups like Nine Inch Nails, and the 2006 biopic Walk the Line cementing his fame. This book honors Cash by examining the many philosophical issues and concepts within his music. From the gender confusion of “A Boy Named Sue” to the ethics of "shooting a man just to watch him die,” philosophers who are fans of Johnny Cash explore the meaning and continuing importance of his work and legacy.

Pink Floyd and Philosophy

Author : George A. Reisch
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With their early experiments in psychedelic rock music in the 1960s, and their epic recordings of the 1970s and '80s, Pink Floyd became one of the most influential and recognizable rock bands in history. As "The Pink Floyd Sound," the band created sound and light shows that defined psychedelia in England and inspired similar movements in the Jefferson Airplane's San Francisco and Andy Warhol's New York City. The band's subsequent recordings forged rock music's connections to orchestral music, literature, and philosophy. "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall" ignored pop music's ordinary topics to focus on themes such as madness, existential despair, brutality, alienation, and socially induced psychosis. They also became some of the best-selling recordings of all time. In this collection of essays, sixteen scholars expert in various branches of philosophy set the controls for the heart of the sun to critically examine the themes, concepts, and problems—usually encountered in the pages of Heidegger, Foucault, Sartre, or Orwell—that animate and inspire Pink Floyd's music. These include the meaning of existence, the individual's place in society, the interactions of knowledge and power in education, the contradictions of art and commerce, and the blurry line—the tragic line, in the case of Floyd early member Syd Barrett (died in 2006)—between genius and madness. Having dominated pop music for nearly four decades, Pink Floyd's dynamic and controversial history additionally opens the way for these authors to explore controversies about intellectual property, the nature of authorship, and whether wholes—especially in the case of rock bands—are more than the sums of their parts.

Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy

Author : Randall E. Auxier
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Known as the working man's poet, the Boardwalk prophet, or simply, the Boss. If "love is a banquet at which we feed," Bruce Springsteen has provided much food for thought. In this collection of metaphysical probes, a gang of E-street philosophers will undress Bruce's deeper mysteries like irresistible Jersey girls. Can Springsteen settle the nature-nurture debate through his song "Born to Run"? What do the famous philosopher Ricuoer and Springsteen have in common in their depiction of time? These die-hard Springsteen fans, who just happen to be philosophers, compile an entertaining handbook to the field of Springsteen studies, covering topics like Springsteen's connection to Marx and the proletariat, Springsteen's concept of the soul, and his status as a poet.

South Park and Philosophy

Author : Richard Hanley
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Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s long-running Comedy Central hit cartoon South Park has been equally cheered and reviled for its edgy humor, poited satire of current events and celebrities, and all-around obnoxiousness. But is there more to Kyle, the lonely Jew, Timmy and the Crips, Cartman’s bitchiness, Chef’s inappropriate advice, and Kenny’s continued violent deaths than meets the eye? This collection of essays affirms that possibility. Individual chapters take a sometimes witty, often provocative look at “Is South Park a Libertarian Manifesto?", "That's So Gay!", and "Why Is Cartman Such an Asshole?”. The writers apply classical philosophical analysis to this two-dimensional dystopia, whether in Paul Draper’s “Why Good Things Happen to Bad People — The Problem of Evil in South Park” or Randall Auxier’s “Finding South Park on the Map: Officer Barbrady, Mayor McDaniel, and Chef in Plato’s Republic.” South Park and Philosophy presents new and thoughtful approaches to understanding this surprisingly meaningful show.

James Bond and Philosophy

Author : James B. South
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“Bond. James Bond.” Since Sean Connery first uttered that iconic phrase in Dr. No, more than one quarter of the world’s population has seen a 007 film. Witty and urbane, Bond seduces and kills with equal ease — often, it seems, with equal enthusiasm. This enthusiasm, coupled with his freedom to do what is forbidden to everyone else, evokes fascinating philosophical questions. Here, 15 witty, thought-provoking essays discuss hidden issues in Bond’s world, from his carnal pleasures to his license to kill. Among the lively topics explored are Bond’s relation to existentialism, including his graduation “beyond good and evil”; his objectification of women; the paradox of breaking the law in order to ultimately uphold it like any “stupid policeman”; the personality of 007 in terms of Plato’s moral psychology; and the Hegelian quest for recognition evinced by Bond villains. A reference guide to all the Bond movies rounds out the book’s many pleasures.

Harley Davidson and Philosophy

Author : Bernard E. Rollin
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It’s no wonder descriptions of riding often resemble the words of Asian mystics and Jedi knights: The ride causes your senses to open completely. You experience only the present, the now. Readers who prefer revving a Harley to meditating in a Zen garden know that biking is just as contemplative as chanting in the lotus position. Here, philosopher-bikers explore this seeming dichotomy, expounding on intriguing questions such as: Why are the motorcycles the real stars of Easy Rider? What would Marx and Foucault say about Harley riders’ tight leather garb? What’s it like to live a dual life as a philosophy professor who wrenches his own 1965 Electra Glide? Would Jesus hang out in a biker bar or a coffeehouse? And more importantly, would He ride a Harley or a Honda? These witty, provocative essays give readers and riders a new appreciation of what it means to become one with the road.

Seinfeld and Philosophy

Author : William Irwin
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A giddy, humorous introduction to philosophy through the lens of "Seinfeld" asks, is it rational for George to do the opposite? and is there really anything wrong with that? among other important topics.

The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers

Author : Mark T. Conard
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Many critics agree that Joel and Ethan Coen are one of the most visionary and idiosyncratic filmmaking teams of the last three decades. Combining thoughtful eccentricity, wry humor, irony, and often brutal violence, the Coen brothers have crafted a style of filmmaking that pays tribute to classic American movie genres yet maintains a distinctly postmodern feel. Since arriving on the film scene, the Coens have amassed an impressive body of work that has garnered them critical acclaim and a devoted cult following. From Raising Arizona and Fargo to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and No Country for Old Men, the Coens have left an unmistakable imprint on Hollywood. The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers investigates philosophical themes in the works of these master filmmakers and also uses their movies as vehicles to explore fundamental concepts of philosophy. The contributing authors discuss concepts such as justice, the problem of interpretation, existential role-playing, the philosophy of comedy, the uncertainty principle, and the coldness of modernity. The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers is not just for die-hard Lebowski Fest attendees, but for anyone who enjoys big ideas on the big screen.

Exploring C S Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia

Author : Kirk H. Beetz
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Explores the land of Narnia and its relationship to Christianity and the Bible, and traces Lewis' own religious path and the events of his life.

Movies and the Meaning of Life

Author : Kimberly A. Blessing
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"The meaning of life is the most urgent of questions," said the existentiallist thinker Albert Camus. And no less a philosopher than Woody Allen has wondered:"How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?" "Movies and the Meaning of Life" looks at popular and cult movies, examining their assumptions and insights on meaning-of-life questions: What is reality and how can I know it? (The Truman Show, Contact, Waking Life); How do I find myself and my true identity? (Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, Boys Don't Cry, Memento); How do I find meaning from my interactions with others? (Pulp Fiction, Shadowlands, Chasing Amy); What is the chief purpose in life? (American Beauty, Life is Beautiful, The Shawshank Redemption); and How ought I live my life? (Pleasantville, Spiderman, Minority Report, Groundhog Day).

Seven

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The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy

Author : Gregory Bassham
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The Lord of the Rings is intended to be applicable to the real world of relationships, religion, pleasure, pain, and politics. Tolkien himself said that his grand tale of wizards, orcs, hobbits, and elves was aimed at truth and good morals in the actual world. Analysis of the popular appeal of The Lord of the Rings (on websites and elsewhere) shows that Tolkien fans are hungry for discussion of the urgent moral and cosmological issues arising out of this fantastic epic story. Can political power be wielded for good, or must it always corrupt? Does technology destroy the truly human? Is it morally wrong to give up hope? Can we find meaning in chance events? In The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy, seventeen young philosophy professors, all of them ardent Tolkien fans and most of them contributors to the four earlier volumes in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series, address some of these important issues and show how clues to their solutions may be found in the imaginary world of Middle-earth. The book is divided into five sections, concerned with Power and the Ring, the Quest for Happiness, Good and Evil in Middle-earth, Time and Mortality, and the Relevance

C S Lewis and a Problem of Evil

Author : Jerry Root
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C. S. Lewis was concerned about an aspect of the problem of evil he called subjectivism: the tendency of one's perspective to move towards self-referentialism and utilitarianism. In C. S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil, Jerry Root provides a holistic reading of Lewis by walking the reader through all of Lewis's published work as he argues Lewis's case against subjectivism. Furthermore, the book reveals that Lewis consistently employed fiction to make his case, as virtually all of his villains are portrayed as subjectivists. Lewis's warnings are prophetic; this book is not merely an exposition of Lewis, it is also a timely investigation into the problem of evil.