The Simpsons is one of the most literary and intelligent comedies on television today—fertile ground for questions such as: Does Nietzsche justify Bart's bad behavior? Is hypocrisy always unethical? What is Lisa's conception of the Good?
From the editor of and contributors to the widely-praised Seinfeld and Philosophy, The Simpsons and Philosophy is an insightful and humorous look at the philosophical tenets of America's favorite animated family that will delight Simpsons fans and philosophy aficionados alike. Twenty-one philosophers and academics discuss and debate the absurd, hyper-ironic, strangely familiar world that is Springfield, the town without a state.
In exploring the thought of key philosophers including Aristotle, Marx, Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, and Kant through episode plots and the characters' antics, the contributors tackle issues like irony and the meaning of life, American anti-intellectualism, and existential rebellion. The volume also includes an episode guide and a chronology of philosophers which lists the names and dates of the major thinkers in the history of philosophy, accompanied by a representative quote from each.
Contributors: David L.G. Arnold, Daniel Barwick, Eric Bronson, Paul A. Cantor, Mark T. Conard, Gerald J. Erion, Raja Halwani, Jason Holt, William Irwin, Kelley Dean Jolley, Deborah Knight, James Lawler, J.R. Lombardo, Carl Matheson, Jennifer L. McMahon, Aeon J. Skoble, Dale E. and James J. Snow, David Vessey, James J. Wallace, and Joseph A. Zeccardi
"Each essay provides a hilarious but incisive springboard to some aspect of philosophy."
"Discussions of The Simpsons often polarize into circular point-counterpoints about family pollution vs. TV as a cultural mirror. These 18 essays go deeper, connecting characters and conflicts from the show's first decade with the thinking of Socrates, Nietzsche and many others. . . . While more than a pop-culture wallow, this is not the rigorously boring text that makes undergrads question rationality."
—Dallas Morning News
"This book is a great place to begin any program in Simpsons studies. A serious look at a funny subject."
—Mark Pinsky, author of The Gospel According to the Simpsons
"What a great book! The chapters are by turns fun, profound, and instructive. I recommend it to everyone, whether a Simpsons fan or not. You'll be surprised at what wisdom lurks in these pages."
—Tom Morris, author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors