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1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think

by Robert Arp

An elegant addition to the successful "1001" series--a comprehensive, chronological guide to the most important thoughts from the finest minds of the past 3,000 years.From Democracy to Cultural Revolution, Courtly Love to Survival of the Fittest, and Kant's Enlightenment to the Oedipus Complex, here are the big ideas that have revolutionized our world. 1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think offers a wealth of stimulation and amusement for any reader with a curious mind, showing how once-radical propositions have become accepted truths. Besides the great, eternal questions (how was the universe created and what is the place of humans within it? How should a person live? And how can we build a just society?), 1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think also includes a host of hypotheses that are remarkable for their sheer audacity--from the concept of the transmigration of souls to parallel universes and the theoretical paradoxes of time travel. Discover the mathematical proof of the existence of life in other galaxies, and relearn inspiring ideas ranging from Gandhi's theory of civil disobedience to Mary Wollstonecraft's groundbreaking advocacy of women's rights. Abounding with quotations and more than 900 full-color, gorgeous illustrations, this is both an in-depth history of ideas and a delightfully accessible popular reference.

Batman and Philosophy

by William Irwin Mark D. White Robert Arp

Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker and end everyone's misery?Can we hold the Joker morally responsible for his actions?Is Batman better than Superman?If everyone followed Batman's example,would Gotham be a better place?What is the Tao of the Bat?Batman is one of the most complex characters ever to appear in comic books, graphic novels, and on the big screen. What philosophical trials does this superhero confront in order to keep Gotham safe? Combing through seventy years of comic books, television shows, and movies, Batman and Philosophy explores how the Dark Knight grapples with ethical conundrums, moral responsibility, his identity crisis, the moral weight he carries to avenge his murdered parents, and much more. How does this caped crusader measure up against the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Lao Tzu?

Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul

by Mark D. White Robert Arp

Is Batman better than Superman? If everyone followed Batman's example, would Gotham be a better place? What is the Tao of the Bat? Batman is one of the most complex characters ever to appear in comic books, graphic novels, and on the big screen.

Breaking Bad and Philosophy

by Robert Arp David R. Koepsell

Breaking Bad, hailed by Stephen King, Chuck Klosterman, and many others as the best of all TV dramas, tells the story of a man whose life changes because of the medical death sentence of an advanced cancer diagnosis. The show depicts his metamorphosis from inoffensive chemistry teacher to feared drug lord and remorseless killer. Driven at first by the desire to save his family from destitution, he risks losing his family altogether because of his new life of crime. In defiance of the tradition that viewers demand a TV character who never changes, Breaking Bad is all about the process of change, with each scene carrying forward the morphing of Walter White into the terrible Heisenberg. Can a person be transformed as the result of a few key life choices? Does everyone have the potential to be a ruthless criminal? How will we respond to the knowledge that we will be dead in six months? Is human life subject to laws as remorseless as chemical equations? When does injustice validate brutal retaliation? Why are drug addicts unsuitable for operating the illegal drug business? How can TV viewers remain loyal to a series where the hero becomes the villain? Does Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty rule our destinies? In Breaking Bad and Philosophy, a hand-picked squad of professional thinkers investigate the crimes of Walter White, showing how this story relates to the major themes of philosophy and the major life decisions facing all of us.

The Devil and Philosophy

by Robert Arp

In The Devil and Philosophy, 34 philosophers explore questions about one of the most recognizable and influential characters (villains?) of all time. From Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion to Bram Stoker's Dracula to Darth Vader to Al Pacino's iconic performance in The Devil's Advocate, this book demonstrates that a little devil goes a long way. From humorous appearances, as in Kevin Smith's film Dogma and Chuck Palahniuk's novels Damned and its sequel Doomed, to more villanous appearances, such as Gabriel Byrne's cold outing as Satan in End of Days, The Devil in Philosophy proves that the Devil comes in many forms.Through the lenses of Jung, Kant, Kundera, Balkan, Plato, Bradwardine, Aristotle, Hume, Blackburn, Descartes, Lavey, Thoreau, and Aquinas, The Devil and Philosophy take a philosophical look at one of time's greatest characters. Are there any good arguments for the actual existence of the Devil? Does demonic evil thrive in Gotham City? Can humans really be accountable for all evil? Which truths about the Devil are actual facts? Is Milton correct, in that the Devil believes he is doing good?

The Good Wife and Philosophy

by Robert Arp Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray

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.

Homeland and Philosophy

by Robert Arp

In Homeland and Philosophy, 23 philosophers tackle the issues that Showtime's award winning show, Homeland, asks us to consider. The show, which centers on Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody's release from an al-Qaeda prison, and CIA Agent Carrie Mathison's distrust of his intentions, asks questions of identity, what it means to be a terrorist, the conditions and effects of brainwashing, lying for the greater good, and whether or not courage is a virtue.But these questions are only a few among many that are explored in the shadowy spy-filled world of Homeland. Through the lenses of Rawls, Kant, Arendt, Foucault, Heidegger, Sartre, and Kierkegaard, among others, Homeland and Philosophy considers the ethics of drone warfare; whether or not Carrie Mathison's personality changes and psychological disorder make her an interesting character study in the metaphysics of personhood; at what point is privacy only an illusion; and concepts of torture, punishment, and discipline.Nicholas Brody is a Marine, a terrorist, a double agent, a congressman, a father, a husband, a lover, and a friend...but who is Nicholas Brody?

It's Always Sunny and Philosophy: The Gang Gets Analyzed

by Robert Arp Roger Hunt

Philosophers wittily and expertly uncover amazing philosophical insights from the endlessly fascinating TV show, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.Littmann shows how the values of the gang are the same as those of Homeric heroes. <P><P>Ketcham argues that the Church should make Charlie a saint, partly because It's Always Sunny is "all about free will." Hamer shows how closely the gang's activities comply with the scientific method. Alkema and Barkman analyze the way the gang perceives happiness and how they try to get it. Leonard proves beyond doubt that the game of Chardee MacDennis reveals everyone's unconscious desires. King examines the morality of the gang's behavior by the standard of how they respond to extreme suffering. Chambers agrees that each of the five central characters is a terrible person, but argues that, given their circumstances, they are not truly to blame for their actions. Tanswell demonstrates that many of the gang's wrong actions result not from immoral motives but from illogical thinking. Aylesworth uses examples from It's Always Sunny to bring out some of the moral problems with real consent to sex. Jones reveals that Nietzsche foresaw everything the gang at Paddy's Pub would do.

Justified and Philosophy: Shoot First, Think Later

by Robert Arp Rod Carveth

The sharp-shooting authors in Justified and Philosophy take aim at many of the same philosophical problems that the Justified TV series grapples with. For instance, is Tim Olyphant's character, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, morally justified in using his Wild-Wild-West-style vigilante tactics to clean up Harlan County, Kentucky? <P><P>After all, the meth dealers, thieves, murderers, and other low-life scumbags all deserve what's coming to them, right? Not so fast, Quick-Draw McGraw! What about the law? What about a thorough and complete investigation of matters before dispensing so-called "justice"? What about the idea of the punishment fitting the crime?Deputy Marshal Givens wears a white hat and fights the "bad guys" so he must be a "good guy," right? His opponents are violent drug dealers, white supremacists, and thieves. Givens carries a badge, but when he shoots or kills people, is it always justified? What other choice does he have? Would any other method be as effective in rural eastern Kentucky where criminal activity is one of the few viable options for making a living?The coal-mining culture of Harlan County, Kentucky is an important backdrop to Justified, and the issues surrounding the coal industry are addressed in some chapters. Some of them include health problems like black lung, the dissolution of communities, the reduction in employment alternatives, the destruction of the environment with mountain-top removal and fracking, and the increase in crime and poverty. If Boyd Crowder robs the coal company responsible for exploiting his community, is that justified?The relationship between Boyd and Raylan dates back to a childhood friendship. Then when they older, they worked in the mines together. One chapter explores the character and motivation of both men and argues that each follows a different moral compass. Another chapter discusses the importance of family to the character of Mags Bennett and how that guides her actions and sense of duty. Another topic of discussion is whether the end justifies the means when Boyd and his gang destroy a meth lab and end up killing one of the meth cookers.Other chapters delve into a variety of fascinating philosophical themes that emerge in this modern-day cowboy show.

Psych and Philosophy: Some Dark Juju-Magumbo

by Robert Arp

"I'm getting something," says Shawn, assuming a look of intense concentration and pressing his fingertips to the sides of his head. Shawn Spencer uses lies, pretense, and distraction to get at the truth. <P><P>But can pseudoscience and fakery really be so helpful? And if they can be, is it ethical to employ them? Psych and Philosophy takes an entertaining tour through the philosophical issues raised by a fake psychic. Can faulty logic get to the truth quicker than good logic? Are other people to blame for Shawn's deceptions, because they're more ready to credit him with supernatural powers than with superior natural powers? Is instinct more important than smart thinking-in police work and in life? Is it ethical to tell lies to promote the truth (and protect the public from criminals)? Almost every episode of Psych revolves around a grisly death, treated humorously by the repartee between Shawn and Gus. The show has much to tell us about human ways of coping with death, as well as about the problem of justified knowledge, the ethics of law enforcement, and the interaction of love, friendship, loyalty, and professionalism.

South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today!

by Robert Arp

If you think Saddam and Satan make a kinky couple, wait till you get a load of South Park and Philosophy. Get your Big Wheels ready, because we're going for a ride, as 22 philosophers take us down the road to understanding the big-picture issues in this small mountain town. A smart and candid look at one of television's most subversive and controversial shows, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year Draws close parallels between the irreverent nature of South Park and the inquiring and skeptical approach of philosophy Addresses the perennial questions of the show, and the contemporary social and political issues that inspire each episode Uses familiar characters and episodes to illustrate topics such as moral relativism, freedom of expression, gay marriage, blasphemy, democracy, feminism, animal ethics, existential questions and much more makes you laugh out loud.

Tattoos - Philosophy for Everyone

by Robert Arp

Covering philosophical issues ranging from tattooed religious symbols to a feminist aesthetics of tattoo, Tattoos and Philosophy offers an enthusiastic analysis of inking that will lead readers to consider the nature of the tattooing arts in a new and profound way.Contains chapters written by philosophers (most all with tattoos themselves), tattoo artists, and tattoo enthusiasts that touch upon many areas in Western and Eastern philosophyEnlightens people to the nature of tattoos and the tattooing arts, leading readers to think deeply about tattoos in new ways Offers thoughtful and humorous insights that make philosophical ideas accessible to the non-philosopher

The Ultimate South Park and Philosophy

by William Irwin Robert Arp Kevin S. Decker

Enlightenment from the South Park gang faster than you can say, "Screw you guys, I'm going home"!The Ultimate South Park and Philosophy: Respect My Philosophah! presents a compilation of serious philosophical reflections on the twisted insights voiced by characters in TV's most irreverent animated series.Offers readers a philosophically smart and candid approach to one of television's most subversive and controversial shows as it enters its 17th seasonDraws sharp parallels between the irreverent nature of South Park and the inquiring and skeptical approach of Western philosophyJourneys deep beyond the surface of the show's scatological humor to address the perennial questions raised in South Park and the contemporary social and political issues that inspire each episodeUtilizes familiar characters and episodes to illustrate such philosophical topics as moral relativism, freedom of expression, gay marriage, blasphemy, democracy, feminism, animal ethics, existential questions, and much moreIt's a Bigger, Longer & Uncut version of the highly acclaimed South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today--and is guaranteed to be much funnier than killing Kenny

What's Good on TV

by Robert Arp Jamie Carlin Watson

What's Good on TV? Understanding Ethics Through Television presents an introduction to the basic theories and concepts of moral philosophy using concrete examples from classic and contemporary television shows.Utilizes clear examples from popular contemporary and classic television shows, such as The Office, Law and Order, Star Trek and Family Guy, to illustrate complex philosophical conceptsDesigned to be used as a stand-alone or supplementary introductory ethics textFeatures case studies, study questions, and suggested readingsEpisodes mentioned are from a wide variety of television shows, and are easily accessibleOffers a balanced treatment of a number of controversial ethical issues including environmental ethics, animal welfare, abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, assisted suicide, censorship and the erosion of valuesIncludes a companion website at

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