Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Popular Philosophy & Spirituality

And remember, the unexamined life is not worth living and the unexamined sitcom is not worth watching.
~William Irwin, Ph.D.

Can entertainment be dangerous?
Do ordinary moral rules apply in the arena?
Can philosophy help Katniss decide between Gale and Peeta?
Could mutations someday become a reality?
~from the inside cover of The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason

Wikipedia defines philosophy as "the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language... In more casual speech, by extension, 'philosophy' can refer to 'the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group'." Philosophy is a one of those fields of study that might cause some people to ask: "Why do I need to know about that?  How do I use that in my everyday life anyway?"   But the folks behind the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series think differently.  They say: "Philosophy is everywhere. You can find it at work behind the scenes in Hollywood TV shows and movies, between the pages of the latest graphic novel, and within the characters of your favorite book. It's not just about the ancient Greeks and Philosophy 101. Philosophy is all around you and that includes pop culture." ABC Library owns several titles in this series, as well as a couple other books that will entertain and enlighten.

Evermore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Mystery of the Universe by Harry Lee Poe

Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts edited by David Baggett and Shawn E. Klein

Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords edited by Henry Jacoby

Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant edited by Jason T. Eberl and Kevin S. Decker [eBook]

Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful than You Can Possibly Imagine edited by Kevin S. Decker and Jason T. Eberl [eBook]

The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All edited by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson

Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy: How to Philosophize with a Pair of Pliers and a Blowtorch edited by Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammad [eBook]

South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating Cobbled Together by Richard Hanley [eBook]

Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics edited by David Baggett and William A. Drumin [eBook]

The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded about Love and Haight edited by Steven Gimbel [eBook]

Johnny Cash and Philosophy: The Burning Ring of Truth edited by John Huss and David Werther [eBook]

Halo and Philosophy: Intellect Evolved edited by Luke Cuddy [eBook]

Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think! edited by Gary L. Hardcastle and George A. Reisch [eBook]

A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton

For more popular philosophy titles, try a keyword search using the term "Popular culture and philosophy".

Several pop culture touchstones also have books written about their spiritual side!  To uncover the religious aspects of pop culture, try:

The Gospel According to the Simpsons: the Simpsons: The Spiritual Life of the World's Most Animated Family by Mark I. Pinsky

The Gospel According to Tony Soprano: An Unauthorized Look into the Soul of TV's Top Mob Boss and His Family by Chris Seay

The Gospel According to the Beatles by Steve Turner

The Gospel According to Peanuts by Robert L. Short

The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

Perhaps you're feeling Machiavellian?  Check out the BBC's list of "10 of pop culture's best Machiavellian characters"! Also, we've got we've got a book for you!

What Would Machiavelli Do? : The Ends Justify the Meanness by Stanley Bing

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