Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy

Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale

Author: James B. South

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812697472

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 4668

Twenty-three essays by young professional philosophers examine crucial ethical and metaphysical aspects of the Buffyverse (the world of Buffy). Though the show already attracted much scholarly attention, this is the first book to fully disinter the intellectual issues. Designed by Whedon as a multilevel story with most of its meanings deeply buried in heaps of heavy irony, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has replaced The X-Files as the show that explains to Americans the nature of the powerful forces of evil continually threatening to surge into our world of everyday decency and overwhelm it. In the tradition of the classic horror films Buffy the Vampire Slayer addresses ethical issues that have long fascinated audiences. This book draws out the ethical and metaphysical lessons from a pop-culture phenomenon.

The Atkins Diet and Philosophy

Chewing the Fat with Kant and Nietzsche

Author: Lisa Heldke,Kerri Mommer,Cynthia Pineo,William Irwin

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698118

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 9189

The Atkins diet has transformed the lives of millions of people, revolutionizing grocery store shelves, restaurant menus, and dinner-table conversations. But there are questions beyond its efficacy and longevity. Is the Atkins diet a new wrinkle in capitalist exploitation or a twisted expression of negative body images? Is it a symbol of super-masculinity? Has the Atkins diet really been around for centuries under other names? Can it increase intelligence, or cause global warming and melt the polar ice caps? How does Atkins fit into Kant’s conception of the moral life, or Rousseau’s vision of a kinder, gentler human society? The Atkins Diet and Philosophy wittily explores these and other pressing questions in sixteen entertaining essays. Following the same fun, readable approach as earlier volumes in this series, this book uses philosophy to put the Atkins diet under the microscope, and uses the Atkins diet to teach vital philosophical lessons for life.

The Vampire Book

The Encyclopedia of the Undead

Author: J Gordon Melton

Publisher: Visible Ink Press

ISBN: 1578593506

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 944

View: 1526

The Ultimate Collection of Vampire Facts and Fiction Death and immortality, sexual prowess and surrender, intimacy and alienation, rebellion and temptation. The allure of the vampire is eternal. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, Third edition, explores the historical, literary, mythological, biographical, and popular aspects of one of the world's most mesmerizing paranormal subject. This vast reference is an alphabetical tour of the psychosexual, macabre world of the soul-sucking undead. In the first fully revised and updated edition in a decade, Dr. J. Gordon Melton (president of the American chapter of the Transylvania Society of Dracula) bites even deeper into vampire lore, myths, reported realities, and legends that come from all around the world. From Vlad the Impaler to Dracula and from modern literature to movies and TV series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Twilight, and The Vampire Lestat, this exhaustive guide furnishes more than 400 essays to quench your thirst for facts, biographies, definitions, and more.

James Bond and Philosophy

Questions Are Forever

Author: James B. South,Jacob M. Held

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698169

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 6586

“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.

The Philosophy of Joss Whedon

Author: Dean A. Kowalski,S. Evan Kreider

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 081313997X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 248

View: 6863

Every generation produces a counterculture icon. Joss Whedon, creator of the long-running television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is famed for his subversive wit, rich characters, and extraordinary plotlines. His renown has only grown with subsequent creations, including Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and the innovative online series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Through premises as unusual as a supernatural detective agency run by a vampire and a Western set in outer space, Whedon weaves stories about characters forced to make commonplace moral decisions under the most bizarre of circumstances. The Philosophy of Joss Whedon examines Whedon's plots and characterizations to reveal their philosophical takes on the limits of personal freedom, sexual morality, radical evil, and Daoism.

Joss Whedon as Shakespearean Moralist

Narrative Ethics of the Bard and the Buffyverse

Author: J. Douglas Rabb,J. Michael Richardson

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476617864

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 4014

Drawing on the works of Shakespeare and American screenwriter Joss Whedon, this study in narrative ethics contends that Whedon is the Shakespeare of our time. The Bard wrote before the influence of the modern moral philosophers, while Whedon is writing in the postmodern period. It is argued that Whedon’s work is more in harmony with the early modern values of Shakespeare than with modern ethics, which trace their origin to 17th and 18th century moral philosophy. This study includes a detailed discussion of representative works of Shakespeare and Whedon, showing how they can and should be read as forms of narrative ethics.

The Onion and Philosophy

Fake News Story True Alleges Indignant Area Professor

Author: Sharon M. Kaye

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812697243

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 8951

The Onion, with its unique brand of deadpan satirical humor, has become a familiar part of the American scene. The newspaper has a readership of over a million, and reaches millions more with its spin-off books and Onion News Network. The Onion has shown us that standard ways of thinking about the news have their grotesque and silly side, and this invites philosophical examination. Twenty-one philosophers were commissioned to provide witty philosophical perspectives on just what makes the Onion so truthful and insightful. Former Governor Sarah Palin reported: “I just couldn’t put it down. The Onion and Philosophy is the most exciting book I’ve read since Principia Mathematica.” Are the Onion writers truly cynical, or just cynically faking it? Does the Onion really have a serious point of view on religion? On sex? On politics? Who cares what Area Man thinks? If everyone’s so dumb, how come so many Onion readers keep on laughing at how dumb they are?

The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy

Wicked Wisdom of the West

Author: Randall E. Auxier,Phil Seng

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812697820

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 515

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

Getting High Minded about Love and Haight

Author: Steve Gimbel

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812697448

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 4109

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.

The Good Wife and Philosophy

Temptations of Saint Alicia

Author: Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray,Robert Arp

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698290

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 2254

In The Good Wife and Philosophy, fifteen philosophers look at the deeper issues raised by this stirring TV drama. The Good Wife gives us courtroom battles in the tradition of Perry Mason, with the added dimension of a political intrigue and a tormented personal story. We witness the interplay between common morality and legal correctness; sometimes following one violates the other. Lawyers operate within the law and within legal ethics, yet routinely do harmful things in pursuit of their clients’ interests. The adversarial system leads to such strategies as stringing out a case to exhaust the other side’s resources and bringing suits ostensibly because of wrongdoing by defendants but really to curtail the defendants as a competitive threat to some important client’s interest. The idea for The Good Wife came from the recurring news drama of wives standing by their husbands when scandal breaks: the wives of Bill Clinton, Elliott Spitzer, and John Edwards. Often these politicians’ spouses are themselves lawyers who have had to cope with the gray areas of legal battles and maneuvering. Following her husband’s disgrace and imprisonment, Alicia Florrick has to return to the law, which she abandoned for the sake of being a full-time wife and mother.

The Sopranos and Philosophy

I Kill Therefore I Am

Author: Richard Greene,Peter Vernezze

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698088

Category: Philosophy

Page: 352

View: 4645

This collection of essays by philosophers who are also fans does a deep probe of the Sopranos, analyzing the adventures and personalities of Tony, Carmella, Livia, and the rest of television's most irresistible mafia family for their metaphysical, epistemological, value theory, eastern philosophical, and contemporary postmodern possibilities. No prior philosophical qualificationsor mob connections are required to enjoy these musings, which are presented with the same vibrancy and wit that have made the show such a hit.

Planet of the Apes and Philosophy

Great Apes Think Alike

Author: John Huss

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698274

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 903

What makes humans different from other animals, what humans are entitled to do to other species, whether time travel is possible, what limits should be placed on science and technology, the morality and practicality of genetic engineering—these are just some of the philosophical problems raised by Planet of the Apes. Planet of the Apes and Philosophy looks at all the deeper issues involved in the Planet of the Apes stories. It covers the entire franchise, from Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel Monkey Planet to the successful 2012 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The chapters reflect diverse points of view, philosophical, religious, and scientific. The ethical relations of humans with animals are explored in several chapters, with entertaining and incisive observations on animal intelligence, animal rights, and human-animal interaction. Genetic engineering is changing humans, animals, and plants, raising new questions about the morality of such interventions. The scientific recognition that humans and chimps share 99 percent of their genes makes a future in which non-human animals acquire greater importance a distinct possibility. Planet of the Apes is the most resonant of all scientific apocalypse myths.

The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy

The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview

Author: Gregory Bassham,Jerry L. Walls,William Irwin

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698096

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 4825

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.

The Wire and Philosophy

This America, Man

Author: David Bzdak,Joanna Crosby,Seth Vannatta

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698282

Category: Philosophy

Page: 384

View: 2930

By many accounts, HBO’s The Wire was and remains the greatest and most important television drama of all time. Conceived by writers David Simon and ex-Baltimore homicide detective Ed Burns, this five-season, sixty-episode tour de force has raised the bar for compelling, intelligent television production. With each season addressing a different arena of life in the city of Baltimore, and each season’s narratives tapping into those from previous seasons, The Wire was able to reveal the overlapping, criss-crossing, and colliding realities that shape—if not control—the people, institutions, and culture of the modern American city. The Wire and Philosophy celebrates this show’s realism as well as its intellectual and philosophical clarity. Selected philosophers who are fans of The Wire tap into these conflicts and interconnections to expose the underlying philosophical issues and assumptions and pursue questions, such as, Can cops really tell whether they are smarter than their perps? Or do they fall victim to intellectual vanity? Do individuals really have free will to resist the temptations—of gangs, of drugs, or corruption—that surround them? Is David Simon a modern-day Marx who sees capitalism leading ultimately to its own collapse, or is Baltimore’s story uniquely its own?

The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy

One Book to Rule Them All

Author: Gregory Bassham,Eric Bronson

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698061

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 4794

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

The Catcher in the Rye and Philosophy

Author: Keith Dromm,Heather Salter

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812698029

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 3510

Few novels have had more influence on individuals and literary culture than J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Published in 1951 and intended by Salinger for adults (early drafts were published in the New Yorker and Colliers), the novel quickly became championed by youth who identified with the awkwardness and alienation of the novel’s protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Since then the book and its reclusive author have been fixtures of both popular and literary culture. Catcher is perhaps the only modern novel that is revered equally by the countless Americans whom Holden Caulfield helped through high school and puberty and literary critics (such as the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik who insisted as recently as 2010 that Catcher is a "perfect" twentieth-century novel). One premise of The Catcher in the Rye and Philosophy is that the ease and sincerity with which readers identify with Holden Caulfield rests on Salinger’s attention to the nuances and qualities of experience in the modern world. Coupled with Salinger’s deft subjective, first-person style, Holden comes to seem more real than any fictional character should. This and other paradoxes raised by the novel are treated by authors who find answers in philosophy, particularly in twentieth-century phenomenology and existentialism--areas of philosophy that share Salinger’s attention to lived, as opposed to theorized, experience. Holden’s preoccupation with “phonies,” along with his constant striving to interpret and judge the motives and beliefs of those around him, also taps into contemporary interest in philosophical theories of justice and Harry Frankfurt’s recently celebrated analysis of "bullshit." Per Salinger’s request, Catcher has never been made into a movie. One measure of the devotion and fanatical interest Catcher continues to inspire, however, is speculation in blogs and magazines about whether movie rights may become available in the wake of Salinger’s death in 2010. These articles remain purely hypothetical, but the questions they inspire--Who would direct? And, especially, Who would star as Holden Caulfield?--are as vivid and real as Holden himself.

Johnny Cash and Philosophy

The Burning Ring of Truth

Author: John Huss,David Werther

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812697782

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 6017

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.

Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy

Darkness on the Edge of Truth

Author: Randall E. Auxier,Douglas R. Anderson

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812697774

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 6509

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.

Mr. Monk and Philosophy

The Curious Case of the Defective Detective

Author: D. E. Wittkower

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 081269743X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 7673

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."