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30 Rock and Philosophy: We Want to Go to There

by William Irwin

A fascinating exploration of the philosophy behind NBC's hit TV series, 30 Rock. With edgy writing and a great cast, 30 Rock is one of the funniest television shows on the air--and where hilarity ensues, philosophical questions abound: Are Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy ethical heroes? Kenneth redefines "goody two shoes", but what does it really mean to be good? Dr. Leo Spaceman routinely demonstrates that medicine is not a science, so what is the role of the incompetent professional in America today? In 30 Rock and Philosophy, Tina Fey and her fellow cast members are thrust onto the philosophical stage with Plato, Aristotle, Kant and other great thinkers to examine these key questions and many others that involve the characters and plotlines of 30 Rock and its fictional TGS with Tracy Jordan comedy show. Takes an entertaining, up-close look at the philosophical issues behind 30 Rock's characters and storylines, from post-feminist ideals to workaholism and the meaning of life Equips you with a new understanding of Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jordan, Jenna Maroney, Dr. Spaceman, and other characters Gives you deep and meaningful new reasons (who knew?) for watching Tina Fey and your other favorites on 30 Rock. Ideal for both casual and diehard fans, this book is the essential companion for every 30 Rock-watcher.

Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy

by William Irwin Richard Brian Davis

The perfect companion to Lewis Carroll's classic book and director Tim Burton's March 2010 remake of Alice in WonderlandAlice?s Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as blue caterpillars who smoke hookahs, cats whose grins remain after their heads have faded away, and a White Queen who lives backwards and remembers forwards? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books, and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived?Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche?Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life?s ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature. Looks at compelling issues such as perception and reality as well as how logic fares in a world of lunacy, the Mad Hatter, clocks, and temporal passageOffers new insights into favorite Alice in Wonderland characters and scenes, including the Mad Hatter and his tea party, the violent Queen of Hearts, and the grinning Cheshire CatAccessible and entertaining, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy will enrich your experience of Alice's timeless adventures with new meaning and fun.

The Atkins Diet and Philosophy

by William Irwin Cynthia Pineo Kerri Mommer Lisa Heldke

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 Avengers and Philosophy

by William Irwin Mark D. White

An engaging look at the philosophical underpinnings of Earth's Mightiest HeroesAvengers assemble! Tackling intriguing dilemmas and issues that no single great philosopher can withstand, this powerful book enlists the brainpower of an A-list team of history's most prominent thinkers to explore the themes behind the action of Marvel Comics' all-star superhero team.Arms you with new insights into the characters and themes of The AvengersDeepens your appreciation both of The Avengers comics and the Joss Whedon movie adaptationAnswers the philosophical questions you've always had about Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including: Can a reformed criminal become a superhero? Can an android love a human? If a hero beats his wife, is he still a hero?Helps you think differently about the members of the superhero team--Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the othersThis thought-provoking book will help you understand this band of superheroes better, whether you've followed the Avengers for years or are a Joss Whedon fan just getting to know them.

Baseball and Philosophy

by William Irwin Bill Littlefield Eric Bronson

Baseball and Philosophy brings together two high-powered pastimes: the sport of baseball and the academic discipline of philosophy. Eric Bronson asked eighteen young professors to provide their profound analysis of some aspect of baseball. The result offers surprisingly deep insights into this most American of games.The contributors include many of the leading voices in the burgeoning new field of philosophy of sport, plus a few other talented philosophers with a personal interest in baseball. A few of the contributors are also drawn from academic areas outside philosophy: statistics, law, and history.This volume gives the thoughtful baseball fan substancial material to think more deeply about. What moral issues are raised by the Intentional Walk? Do teams sometimes benefit from the self-interested behavior of their individual members? How can Zen be applied to hitting? Is it ethical to employ deception in sports? Can a game be defined by its written rules or are there also other constraints? What can the U.S. Supreme Court learn from umpiring? Why should baseball be the only industry exempt from antitrust laws? What part does luck play in any game of skill?

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?

The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy

by William Irwin Dean Kowalski

A lighthearted meditation on the philosophical quandaries of the hit television show The Big Bang TheoryEver wonder what Aristotle might say about the life Sheldon Cooper leads? Why Thomas Hobbes would applaud the roommate agreement? Who Immanuel Kant would treat with "haughty derision" for weaving "un-unravelable webs?" And-most importantly-whether Wil Wheaton is truly evil? Of course you have. Bazinga!This book mines the deep thinking of some of history's most potent philosophical minds to explore your most pressing questions about The Big Bang Theory and its nerdy genius characters. You might find other philosophy books on science and cosmology, but only this one refers to Darth Vader Force-chokes, cloning Leonard Nimoy, and oompa-loompa-like engineers. Fo-shizzle.Gives you irresistibly geek-worthy insights on your favorite Big Bang Theory characters, story lines, and ideasExamines important themes involving ethics and virtue, science, semiotics, religion, and the human conditionBrings the thinking of some of the world's greatest philosophers to bear on The Big Bang Theory, from Aristotle and Plato to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Simone de Beauvoir, and moreEssential reading for every Big Bang Theory fan, this book explores whether comic-book-wielding geeks can lead the good life, and whether they can know enough science to "tear the mask off nature and stare at the face of God."

BioShock and Philosophy

by William Irwin Luke Cuddy

Considered a sign of the 'coming of age' of video games as an artistic medium, the award-winning BioShock franchise covers vast philosophical ground. BioShock and Philosophy: Irrational Game, Rational Book presents expert reflections by philosophers (and Bioshock connoisseurs) on this critically acclaimed and immersive fan-favorite. Reveals the philosophical questions raised through the artistic complexity, compelling characters and absorbing plots of this ground-breaking first-person shooter (FPS) Explores what BioShock teaches the gamer about gaming, and the aesthetics of video game storytelling Addresses a wide array of topics including Marxism, propaganda, human enhancement technologies, political decision-making, free will, morality, feminism, transworld individuality, and vending machines in the dystopian society of Rapture Considers visionary game developer Ken Levine's depiction of Ayn Rand's philosophy, as well as the theories of Aristotle, de Beauvoir, Dewey, Leibniz, Marx, Plato, and others from the Hall of Philosophical Heroes

Black Sabbath and Philosophy

by William Irwin

A philosophical look at heavy metal's dark masters of reality, Black SabbathBlack Sabbath is one of the world's most influential and enduring rock bands. Dubbed "the Beatles of heavy metal" by Rolling Stone, they helped to define a genre with classic songs like "Paranoid", "Iron Man", and "War Pigs", songs whose lyrics reveal hidden depth and philosophical insight. Their songs confront existential despair, social instability, political corruption, the horrors of war, and the nature of evil. This book explores the wide range of profound ideas in the band's music and lyrics to help you understand Black Sabbath as never before.Discusses and debates essential Black Sabbath topics and themes, such as the problem of evil, "War Pigs" and the nature of just war theory, whether or not Sabbath is still Sabbath without Ozzy, and whether "evil is in the ear of the beholder"Gives you new perspectives on Black Sabbath's music and lyricsProvides a deeper appreciation and understanding of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, and Ronnie James DioBrings some of history's heaviest thinkers to bear on the band's music, from Aristotle and Nietzsche to Schopenhauer and MarxSo . . . can you help me, occupy my brain? Yes! Start reading Black Sabbath and Philosophy.

Bob Dylan and Philosophy

by William Irwin Peter Vernezze Carl J. Porter

The legions of Bob Dylan fans know that Dylan is not just a great composer, writer, and performer, but a great thinker as well. In Bob Dylan and Philosophy, eighteen philosophers analyze Dylan's ethical positions, political commitments, views on gender and sexuality, and his complicated and controversial attitudes toward religion. All phases of Dylan's output are covered, from his early acoustic folk ballads and anthem-like protest songs to his controversial switch to electric guitar to his sometimes puzzling, often profound music of the 1970s and beyond. The book examines different aspects of Dylan's creative thought through a philosophical lens, including personal identity, negative and positive freedom, enlightenment and postmodernism in his social criticism, and the morality of bootlegging. An engaging introduction to deep philosophical truths, the book provides Dylan fans with an opportunity to learn about philosophy while impressing fans of philosophy with the deeper implications of his intellectual achievements.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy

by William Irwin James B. South

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 Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy

by William Irwin Jerry L. Walls Gregory Bassham

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.

Critical Thinking: A Student's Introduction (Fifth Edition)

by William Irwin Gregory Bassham Henry Nardone James Wallace

Bassham's popular text helps today's students bridge the gap between everyday culture and critical thinking. Using a proven step-by-step approach, this text covers all the basics of critical thinking in clear, reader-friendly language. The 5th edition has taken into account suggestions from users and reviewers of previous editions, and has added an Appendix, and new readings, exercises and examples throughout the text.

Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy

by William Irwin Christopher Robichaud

Do demons and devils have free will? Does justice exist in Menzoberranzan? What's the morality involved with player characters casting necromancy and summoning spells? Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy probes the rich terrain of philosophically compelling concepts and ideas that underlie Dungeons & Dragons, the legendary fantasy role-playing game that grew into a world-wide cultural phenomenon. A series of accessible essays reveals what the imaginary worlds of D&D can teach us about ethics, morality, metaphysics and more. Illustrates a wide variety of philosophical concepts and ideas that arise in Dungeons & Dragons gameplay and presents them in an accessible and entertaining manner Reveals how the strategies, tactics, improvisations, and role-play employed by D&D enthusiasts have startling parallels in the real world of philosophy Explores a wide range of philosophical topics, including the nature of free will, the metaphysics of personal identity, the morality of crafting fictions, sex and gender issues in tabletop gameplay, and friendship and collaborative storytelling Provides gamers with deep philosophical insights that can lead to a richer appreciation of D&D and any gaming experience

Ender's Game and Philosophy

by William Irwin Kevin S. Decker

A threat to humanity portending the end of our species lurks in the cold recesses of space. Our only hope is an eleven-year-old boy.Celebrating the long-awaited release of the movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel about highly trained child geniuses fighting a race of invading aliens, this collection of original essays probes key philosophical questions raised in the narrative, including the ethics of child soldiers, politics on the internet, and the morality of war and genocide.Original essays dissect the diverse philosophical questions raised in Card's best-selling sci-fi classic, winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards and which has been translated in 29 languagesPublication coincides with planned release of major motion picture adaptation of Ender's Game starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison FordTreats a wealth of core contemporary issues in morality and ethics, including child soldiers, the best kind of education and the use and misuse of global communications for political purposesA stand-out addition to the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series

The Free Market Existentialist

by William Irwin

Incisive and engaging, The Free Market Existentialist proposes a new philosophy that is a synthesis of existentialism, amoralism, and libertarianism. Argues that Sartre's existentialism fits better with capitalism than with Marxism Serves as a rallying cry for a new alternative, a minimal state funded by an equal tax Confronts the "final delusion" of metaphysical morality, and proposes that we have nothing to fear from an amoral world Begins an essential conversation for the 21st century for students, scholars, and armchair philosophers alike with clear, accessible discussions of a range of topics across philosophy including atheism, evolutionary theory, and ethics

Harry Potter and Philosophy

by William Irwin David Baggett Shawn E. Klein

In Harry Potter and Philosophy, seventeen philosophical experts unlock some of Hogwarts' secret panels, and uncover surprising insights that are enlightening both for wizards and the most discerning muggles.

Hip-Hop and Philosophy

by William Irwin Cornel West Tommie Shelby Derrick Darby

Is there too much violence in hip-hop music? What's the difference between Kimberly Jones and the artist Lil' Kim? Is hip-hop culture a "black" thing? Is it okay for N.W.A. to call themselves niggaz and for Dave Chappelle to call everybody bitches? These witty, provocative essays ponder these and other thorny questions, linking the searing cultural issues implicit - and often explicit - in hip-hop to the weighty matters examined by the great philosophers of the past. The book shows that rap classics by Lauryn Hill, OutKast, and the Notorious B.I.G. can help uncover the meanings of love articulated in Plato's Symposium; that Rakim, 2Pac, and Nas can shed light on the conception of God's essence expressed in St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica; and explores the connection between Run-D.M.C., Snoop Dogg, and Hegel. Hip-Hop and Philosophy proves that rhyme and reason, far from being incompatible, can be mixed and mastered to contemplate life's most profound mysteries.

Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real

by William Irwin

The thought-provoking essays discuss different facets of the primary philosophical puzzle of The Matrix: Can we be sure the world is really there, and if not, what should we do about it? Other chapters address issues of religion, lifestyle, pop culture, the Zeitgeist, the nature of mind and matter, and the reality of fiction.

Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy

by William Irwin Jorge J. Gracia

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has become one of the most controversial films ever made, and it is already a blockbuster of cinematography. Its defenders passionately regard it as one of the most moving and influential pieces of religious art ever created. But its detractors argue with comparable vehemence that the violence and gore it contains, its alleged anti-Semitism, a particular take on the Christian message, and the lack of historical and Biblical accuracy, make it nothing more than a kind of political propaganda. Father Thomas Rosica hailed as one of the great masterpieces of religious art, but the secular humanist Paul Kurtz thinks of it as a political weapon in the hands of the religious right. Film critics are divided in their judgment, giving the film anywhere from no stars to five stars. Regardless of what one thinks of the film, however, its impact both personal and social is beyond question.

Monty Python and Philosophy

by William Irwin Gary L. Hardcastle George A. Reisch

From the 1970s cult TV show, Monty Python's Flying Circus, to the current hit musical Spamalot, the Monty Python comedy troupe has been at the center of popular culture and entertainment. The Pythons John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam are increasingly recognized and honored for their creativity and enduring influence in the worlds of comedy and film. Monty Python and Philosophy extends that recognition into the world of philosophy. Fifteen experts in topics like mythology, Buddhism, feminism, logic, ethics, and the philosophy of science bring their expertise to bear on Python movies such as Monty Python's Life of Brian and Flying Circus mainstays such as the Argument Clinic, the Dead Parrot Sketch, and, of course, the Bruces, the Pythons' demented, song-filled vision of an Australian philosophy department. Monty Python and Philosophy follows the same hit format as the other titles in this popular series and explains all the philosophical concepts discussed in laymen's terms.

More Matrix and Philosophy: Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded

by William Irwin

Mostly American scholars of philosophy offer their insights into the trilogy of Matrix movies as a single entity, through the first section engages the critical bashing of the two sequels. Freedom and reality, global philosophy unplugged, and social and political issues are the other themes. Among specific topics are the Prozac of the people, the music of the future, the cosmological journey of Neo, and whether Morpheus is Black.

The Prophets and Their Times (Second Edition)

by William Irwin J. M. Powis Smith

An impressive piece of Biblical scholarship.

Seinfeld and Philosophy

by William Irwin

Designed for philosophers as well as readers with no particular philosophical background, the essays in this lively book are grouped into four amusing acts. Act One looks at the four Seinfeld characters through a philosophical lens and includes Jerry and Socrates: The Examined Life? Act Two examines historical philosophers from a Seinfeldian standpoint and offers Plato or Nietzsche? Time, Essence, and Eternal Recurrence in Seinfeld. Act Three, Untimely Meditations by the Water Cooler, explores philosophical issues raised by the show, such as, Is it rational for George to do the opposite? And Act Four, Is There Anything Wrong with That?, discusses ethical problems of everyday life using Seinfeld as a basis. Seinfeld and Philosophy also provides a guide to Seinfeld episodes and a chronological list of the philosophers cited in this book.

The Simpsons and Philosophy

by William Irwin Mark T. Conard Aeon J. Skoble

This unconventional and lighthearted introduction to the ideas of the major Western philosophers examines The Simpsons - TV's favorite animated family. The authors look beyond the jokes, the crudeness, the attacks on society - and see a clever display of irony, social criticism, and philosophical thought. The writers begin with an examination of the characters. Does Homer actually display Aristotle's virtues of character? In what way does Bart exemplify American pragmatism? The book also examines the ethics and themes of the show, and concludes with discussions of how the series reflects the work of Aristotle, Marx, Camus, Sartre, and other thinkers.

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