November 20, 2012

Black Sabbath and Philosophy on Get Ready To Rock!

A nice short review of the book: “A book to dip into, that will get you thinking and almost certainly have you going back and listening to your old Black Sabbath albums in a different light. Highly recommended.”
You can see the full review here:
http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/2012/11/black-sabbath-and-philosophy-mastering-reality/

And Get Ready To Rock! has a longer piece by Black Sabbath and Philosophy’s editor, William Irwin, as well:
“Professors have been obsessing over the Beatles and Bob Dylan for long enough. Now it’s time to give the boys from Birmingham their due. For Black Sabbath and Philosophy: Mastering Reality, I’ve gathered an international crew of intellectuals who also happen to be diehard Sabbath fans. In the book we tackle the perennial philosophical debate among Sabbath fans: Is it still Sabbath without Ozzy? We also look at the definition of metal and trace the metal family resemblance back to the fathers of all things unholy. As any fan can tell you, the lyrics that Geezer wrote for the Ozzy-era albums are rich and provocative. So we examine the lyrics to investigate the nature of good and evil. Are they two opposing forces doing battle on the cosmic scene? Or is evil just the absence of goodness?”
Full text here:
http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/2012/11/to-master-reality-with-black-sabbath-let-philosophy-be-your-guide-by-william-irwin/

Interested in more news about Black Sabbath and Philosophy or The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
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November 2, 2012

Bill Irwin on Black Sabbath and the Secret of Scary Music

Bill Irwin has a piece on the Psychology Today blog about the dark sound of Black Sabbath’s music, and how that relates to the content of their lyrics (which might be surprising to some!):
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/plato-pop/201210/black-sabbath-and-the-secret-scary-music

Interested in more news about Black Sabbath and Philosophy or The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

July 20, 2012

The Big Lebowski and Philosophy’s Peter Fosl Interviewed

Check out interviews with Peter:

A brief read on Louisville’s WFPL:
http://wfpl.org/post/abiding-wisdom-big-lebowski

And a cool radio interview with Peter (and Adam Bertocci, author of the play Two Gentleman of Lebowski) on Chattanooga’s WUTC:
http://wutc.org/post/big-lebowski-and-its-followers

Interested in more news about The Big Lebowski and Philosophy or The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

May 25, 2012

…and Philosophy books get a nice mention in the Chronicle

Carlin Romano has a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education on this question: “Is America Philosophical?”. He includes mention of the pop culture and philosophy phenomenon as follows:

“…no fewer than three American publishers—Open Court, Wiley-Blackwell, and the University Press of Kentucky—regularly tap into a bustling market with series that connect philosophy to popular culture, knocking out, at an amazing pace, titles such as The Matrix and Philosophy, Facebook and Philosophy, and Twilight and Philosophy. All contain freshly written essays, mainly by professional philosophers who double as rabid enthusiasts of the pop-culture subject in play. Although the books rarely draw mainstream media reviews, they’ve proved extremely popular.”

You can read the entire piece online at the Chronicle here:
http://chronicle.com/article/Is-America-Philosophical-/131884/

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

February 17, 2012

Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture review on Evil Reads

Andrew Shaffer reviews Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture:

If you haven’t read any of the pop culture and philosophy books from Wiley Blackwell, this is a good introduction. While the opening chapter on Thor was a little silly (Thor is a little silly, after all), the essay on Superman renouncing his American citizenship is well worth your time. And money, although you’re getting it here for free!

Read the whole review at Evil Reads.

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

February 10, 2012

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series review on The Beggar Blade

Shara Guengerich blogs about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series:

One of the fastest growing series on philosophy that can easily be found in bookstores is from Blackwell Publishers, entitled “Pop Culture and Philosophy.” Titles include The Daily Show and Philosophy, Batman and Philosophy, and Monty Python and Philosophy. The primary target of these books are those fans who enjoy examining the minute aspects of their favorite pop-culture entities. While I was reading one volume, Seinfeld and Philosophy, I was reminded of an experience commonly shared only by Providence students: the Avodah reflection. While often these times of reflection last around 45 minutes, the idea of taking time to examine common cultural phenomenon is something that was instilled in me since my Freshman year at Providence.

Read the whole review at The Beggar Blade.

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

November 12, 2011

“Turn it Up to 11 and Celebrate National Metal Day” on Psychology Today

In this edition of series editor William Irwin and editor David Kyle Johnson’s “Plato on Pop” column:

How do you watch your favorite television show? We have so many options that we need to ask: which way of viewing is best? For some time we have been able to videotape our favorite shows and watch them when it is convenient for us, but now it’s even easier with DVR (TiVo). Still, other ways of watching television have also become popular. If you don’t have DVR you can legally or, more often, illegally download shows from the internet and watch them on your computer. Also, these days, nearly any TV show worth its salt is released on DVD.

In fact, I’ve particularly enjoyed watching certain shows on DVD, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for example. I was late catching on to Buffy, which was in its fifth season before I saw my first episode. But thanks to DVD I caught up in a hurry. In fact, watching the first two seasons of Buffy on DVD was one of the best viewing experiences I’ve ever had. In the evening my wife and I would sit on the couch and watch episode after episode; we couldn’t wait for the next one. I can’t imagine we would have enjoyed the show nearly as much if we had to wait a week between episodes and then months between seasons. The horror!

Read the whole post at Psychology Today.

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

May 12, 2011

Announcing Game of Thrones and Philosophy!

We’re very pleased to announce the newest title in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, Game of Thrones and Philosophy, to be edited by Henry Jacoby.

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

Direwolves, dragons, and the Others: Metaphysics and the strange creatures of Westeros; What’s so bad about incest? The strange relationship of Jaime and Cersei Lannister; Maesters and Septons: Does science conflict with religion? “Winter is coming”: Seasons that last for years and the nature of space and time; The moral luck of Tyrion Lannister; What would Ned Stark do? Virtue ethics and moral exemplars; Bastards and cripples, dwarfs and kings: the nature of the self; Why don’t the gods ever help out? Melisandre and the problem of evil; The things I do for love: Jaime Lannister’s view of morality; Do’s and Don’ts at Dothraki Weddings: Is Morality relative?; “See with your eyes.” Zen and the Art of Water Dancing; Was Robert right to usurp the throne from Mad King Aerys?; Jon and Sam: An Aristotelian analysis of the Night’s Watch and the nature of friendship; The Wildings and Hobbes’ state of nature; Are Machiavellian virtues a necessary evil when you play the game of thrones?; There is no Dothraki word for ‘thank you’: Language and reality; Hinduism and the Seven Faces of God; The Wights beyond the Wall: Are zombies possible?; Subjectivity and the Mind-Body problem: What is it like to be a dragon?; How should we choose our leaders? The kings of Westeros vs. Plato’s Republic; Is “the King’s justice” really justice?; The old gods or the new gods: Is faith in any of them justified?; Queens, whores, and tomboys: Fantasy mores and feminist ideals; Is Daenerys a Nietzschean Superwoman?; Do Direwolves have souls? A Cartesian analysis of the brutes; Incest, bastards, and secret identities: Is keeping secrets to protect your family ethical?; Isn’t the Night’s Watch more like a penal colony? Who do we want protecting us anyway?; Plato’s Ring of Gyges and the immoralist’s question: Why should I be moral if I have dragons?; Valar morghulis, valar dohaeris (Every man must die, but first we must live): The meaning of life in the Seven Kingdoms; “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” The nature of knowledge and the limits of empiricism; Paganism and the Old Gods in Winterfell; No exit for Sansa Stark: A Sartrean analysis; From Arya to Cat of the Canals: Description vs. Causal theories of proper names; Greensight, dreams, and prophecy: Destiny vs. Free will; Do Bran and Summer share their consciousness? The problem of Personal Identity; Martial arts and the virtues of Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth, and the Kingslayer; If Daenerys frees slaves, why does she keep the Unsullied?; Aristotelian virtues in Littlefinger and the Lannisters: Intelligence or practical wisdom?; Traitors and turncoats: The Kingslayer, Barriston Selmy, and Theon Greyjoy; Master morality and slave morality: Nietzsche looks at the citizens of Westeros
*While most topics listed here emphasize the first book and television series, contributions dealing with characters and events of later books are welcome as well.

You can submit an abstract at the And Philosophy website.

Interested in more news about Game of Thrones and Philosophy or The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

April 11, 2011

“TiVo, or Not TiVo? That Is the Question” on Psychology Today

In this edition of series editor William Irwin and editor David Kyle Johnson’s “Plato on Pop” column:

How do you watch your favorite television show? We have so many options that we need to ask: which way of viewing is best? For some time we have been able to videotape our favorite shows and watch them when it is convenient for us, but now it’s even easier with DVR (TiVo). Still, other ways of watching television have also become popular. If you don’t have DVR you can legally or, more often, illegally download shows from the internet and watch them on your computer. Also, these days, nearly any TV show worth its salt is released on DVD.

In fact, I’ve particularly enjoyed watching certain shows on DVD, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for example. I was late catching on to Buffy, which was in its fifth season before I saw my first episode. But thanks to DVD I caught up in a hurry. In fact, watching the first two seasons of Buffy on DVD was one of the best viewing experiences I’ve ever had. In the evening my wife and I would sit on the couch and watch episode after episode; we couldn’t wait for the next one. I can’t imagine we would have enjoyed the show nearly as much if we had to wait a week between episodes and then months between seasons. The horror!

Read the whole post at Psychology Today.

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

January 11, 2011

Announcing three new titles

You can now submit abstracts for three new announced titles in the And Philosophy series: The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy, The Big Lebowski and Philosophy, and The Avengers and Philosophy!

Interested in more news about The Avengers and Philosophy or The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy or The Big Lebowski and Philosophy or The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

September 23, 2010

Announcing The Hunger Games and Philosophy

We’re very pleased to announce the newest title in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, The Hunger Games and Philosophy, to be edited by George A. Dunn and Nick Michaud.

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”: Hard Choices and “Moral Luck” In and Out of the Arena; “You love me. Real, or not real?”: Katniss and the Philosophy of Love and Friendship; Leviathan in the Arena: The Games and Hobbes’ War of All Against All; Panem et Circenses as Instruments of Domination; Machiavelli and the Capitol: Is It Better to be Feared than Loved?; Katniss and Nietzsche on Revenge and Resentment; “Rue, who when you ask her what she loves most in the world, replies, of all things, ‘Music.’”: Rue, Katniss, and the Power of Song; “That was the one thing I had going for me. Taking care of your family.”: Gale, Family, and Responsibility; Personal Identity: Is Hijacked Peeta Still Peeta?; Games, Deception, and the Problem of Other Minds; The Games and Game Theory; Schadenfreude: The Joy of Watching Others Suffer; René Girard and the Hunger Games as Sacrificial Rituals; A Hegelian Analysis of Panem: Katniss as World Historical Figure; Eating in the Districts and in the Capitol: The Many Meanings of Food; Katniss, Prim, and the Feminine Care Ethic; Authenticity: Why Does Katniss Fail at Everything She Fakes?; The Morality of Capital Punishment: Do Snow and Coin Deserve to Die?; Varieties of Hunger: The Need for Food, Self-Respect, and Love; Why Is Religion Absent from Panem?—Or Is It?; Caesar Flickerman and the Banality of Evil; Katniss and Theseus: What Is a Hero?; Freedom, “Hijacking,” and Personal Responsibility; President Snow and Plato’s Critique of the Life of the Tyrant; “I want to die as myself”: Peeta and the Virtue of Integrity; Just War Theory in the Arena and in the Rebellion; Punishment or Reconciliation: What Should Happen to Those Who Aided the Capitol?; The “Mockingjay” and Noble Lying; Critiquing the Culture of Voyeurism, Fame, and Celebrity; Foucaultian Power Relations: How the Capitol Controls the Districts; The Ethics of Literature: Should Collins Present Violence to Young Readers?; The Capitol and Capital: A Marxist Analysis of the Hunger Games Trilogy; Virtue Ethics and Moral Particularism: Do Ordinary Rules of Morality Apply In the Arena?; Katniss’s “Extended Mind” in the Woods; Mutts and the Morality of Bioengineering

You can submit an abstract at the And Philosophy website.

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series or The Hunger Games and Philosophy?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

August 16, 2010

Announcing Inception and Philosophy

We’re very pleased to announce the newest title in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, Inception and Philosophy. The science fiction thriller, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, took the #1 box office spot for three weeks after its release. The complex, mind-altering plot and stunning visuals make it popular among viewers and a natural fit for And Philosophy.

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • “Their dream has become their reality”: Inception and Nozick’s Experience Machine
  • “How did you get here?” Can We Tell if We are Dreaming?
  • Your Very Own Token: Solving the Skeptical Problem with a Spinning Top
  • “They come to be woken up”: If Life is a Dream, Does it Matter?
  • Living in Limbo: Convenient Dreams vs. Inconvenient Reality
  • Is That Your Idea? A New Kind of Skeptical Problem
  • Self, Mind, and Free Will: Could Your Brain be an Inceptor?
  • Is the top still spinning? Does an Author’s Intent Matter?
  • “An idea is like a virus”: The Power of Ideas
  • “Take a leap of faith”: Is it Ever Acceptable to Believe without Evidence?
  • “Only a fraction of our brain’s potential”: Separating Myth from Reality
  • Penrose Steps: The Possibility of Paradox
  • Real Life Inception: The Challenge of Changing People’s Minds
  • “Your mind is the scene of the crime”: The Ethics of Inception
  • What is a Dream Made Of? The Nature of Mind
  • Is Shared Dreaming Possible? The Problem of Neural Interpretation
  • Shared Dreaming and the Problem of Other Minds
  • The Nature of Free Will: Inception in Frankfurt-style Counterexamples
  • Could Cobb be Insane? Demons, Dreamers & Madmen
  • The Nature of Time: Time Moves More Slowly, the Further Down You Go
  • Populating a Dream with Your Sub-conscious: Split Minds and Personal Identity

You can submit an abstract at the And Philosophy website.

Interested in more news about Inception and Philosophy or The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

August 13, 2010

BBC examines philosophical questions that arise from Superheroes and Comic books

For years, fans of the Batman comics have puzzled over a mystery at the heart of the series: why doesn’t Batman just kill his arch-nemesis, the murderous Joker?

The two have engaged in a prolonged game of cat-and-mouse. The Joker commits a crime, Batman catches him, the Joker is locked up, and then invariably escapes.

Wouldn’t all this be much simpler if Batman just killed the Joker? What’s stopping him?

Enter philosopher Immanuel Kant and the deontological theory of ethics.

Read the full article on BBC

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

July 21, 2010

Announcing Stieg Larsson and Philosophy

We’re very pleased to announce the newest title in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, Stieg Larsson and Philosophy. Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy — comprised of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest — is hugely popular throughout the world, and Larsson’s heavy emphasis on ethics and defense of women’s rights make the series perfect for philosophical analysis.

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following: Vanger Family Values: Was Martin Destined to Follow His Father?; Why Vengeance is Moral: Nazis, Johns, and the Book of Leviticus; The Psychology of Sadists and Serial Killers; Deadbeat Dads: Zala, Vanger, and The Brothers Karamazov; Elementary, My Dear Blomkvist: What We Learn from Mysteries; Stieg Larsson and Our Dead Author Fetish; Kicking the Artist’s Nest: Good Literature or Guilty Pleasure?; Fermat’s “Marvelous Proof”: Why We Love Mysteries; Media Studies and the Ethics of Revealing Sources; Why Riot Grrrls Love Lisbeth (and Don’t Like You); Is Lisbeth a “Dyke”?; Bodies and Boundaries: Judith Butler and Dragon Tattoos; Intersectionality and Mimmi Wu’s Feminism; Who’s Pinging Whom?: Lisbeth’s Cyborg Manifesto; Psychotics and Whores: Goffman’s Labeling Theory; Medicalization and the Doctors Who Hate Women; Why We Institutionalize the Innocent: Palmgren and Foucault; The Argument from Authority: Why Salander and Vanger Go On the Lamb; Zala’s Secret Section and Foucault’s Governmentality; Surveillance Studies and “The Rolls-Royce of Portable Computers”; Hacker’s Republic: Plague vs. Plato; Is Palmgren a Libertarian?; The Philosopher Who Played With Fire: Larsson’s Marxist Manifesto; Kalle F***ing Blomkvist and Lisbeth F***ing B*tch Salander: An Existential Love Story; Is Mikael Blomkvist an “Insufferable Do-Gooder” or “Just Another A**hole Who Hates Women”?

You can submit an abstract at the And Philosophy website.

Interested in more news about Stieg Larsson and Philosophy or The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

June 12, 2010

Interview with editor Rebecca Housel on the Huffington Post

Tom Morris of the Huffington Post interviewed Rebecca Housel, co-editor of Twilight and Philosophy and True Blood and Philosophy, about the appeal of vampires in popular culture.

Tom: Why do you think vampires have had their recent meteoric rise in popularity?

Rebecca: Good question. Similar to the post 9-11 surge in superhero films, people are looking for escapist entertainment that reclaims some sense of agency and power over the impermanence in life that’s been so exaggerated in recent years with things like the situation in the Middle East, the uncertain global economy, and widespread unemployment in the States.

Read the full interview at the Huffington Post.

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
You can also follow And Philosophy on Twitter.

April 29, 2010

Popular Culture in the Philosophy Classroom

A piece by Harry Potter and Philosophy editor Gregory Bassham, with Michael W. Austin, called “Popular Culture in the Philosophy Classroom” appears in the Fall 2008 issue of the American Philosophical Association’s newsletter.

An effective hook

As educational theorists from Rousseau to Dewey to contemporary constructivists have emphasized, teaching is most effective when it connects with what students know and care about. Students are more engaged when they are studying materials they find interesting and relevant, and they learn more quickly and more deeply when they can fit what they are learning into a framework of existing knowledge. Today’s students live in a veritable Platonic Cave of popular culture, flickering with digital shadows and abuzz with electronic chatter. Students are often keenly interested and amazingly knowledgeable (much more than they should be) about various aspects of popular culture. By tapping into these interests, pop philosophy can serve as a springboard to serious philosophical reflection. Moreover, the memorableness of such examples can promote long-term learning. As Fordham University student Alexandra Fernandes said after taking a course on fantasy and philosophy, “What really matters in an education is what you walk away with, what resonates with a student and what they retain for the rest of their lives. If using these modern sources creates a better technique of retention, why not use them?”

Read the full article at the American Philosophical Association’s website.

Interested in more news about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?
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