Popular Culture and Philosophy® series (56 books)

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Since its inception in 2000, Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy® series has brought high-quality philosophy to general readers. The volumes present essays by academic philosophers exploring the meanings, concepts, and puzzles within television shows, movies, music and other icons of popular culture.

 

Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #1

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...


The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #2

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...


Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #4

by James South & William Irwin

"In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the Forces of Darknes. She is the Slayer . . ."

So, if you're kind of killing time between apocalypses or...


Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter's Box

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #6

by Eric Bronson & Bill Littlefield

Baseball and Philosophy presents thirty-one talented professional thinkers who have found wisdom in and through baseball. They explore some of the game's deeper questions and expound baseball's lessons for truth,...


The Sopranos and Philosophy: I Kill Therefore I Am

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #7

by Richard Greene & Peter Vernezze

Tony Soprano and the gang meet classic and modern philosophy in these witty, provocative essays. Covering everything from Aristotle to ziti, 17 wiseguys (three of them gals) explore such irresistible topics...


Woody Allen and Philosophy: [You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong?]

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #8

by Mark Conard & Aeon Skoble

Woody Allen—comedian, writer, director, actor, musician, and deep thinker—is clearly trying to tell us something, but what? And why should we care? Fifteen philosophers representing different viewpoints give...


Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #9

by David Baggett, Shawn E. Klein & William Irwin

Harry Potter has put a spell on millions of readers, and they all want to find out more about the deeper meaning of his adventures. In Harry Potter and Philosophy, 17 experts in the field of philosophy unlock...


Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #12

by Kevin S. Decker, Jason T. Eberl & William Irwin

The Star Wars films continue to revolutionize science fiction, creating new standards for cinematographic excellence, and permeating popular culture around the world. The films feature many complex themes ranging...


Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the Socratic Way

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #13

by Tom Morris & Matt Morris

The comic book superheroes -- Superman, Batman, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and many others -- have proved to be a powerful and enduring thread in popular culture, a rich source of ideas...


Hip-Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #16

by Derrick Darby & Shelby

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...


Bob Dylan and Philosophy: It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Thinking)

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #17

by Carl Porter & Peter Vernezze

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,...


Harley-Davidson and Philosophy: Full-Throttle Aristotle

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #18

by Bernard Rollin & Cynthia Pineo

It’s no wonder descriptions of riding often resemble the words of Asian mystics and Jedi knights: The ride causes your senses to open completely. You experience only the present, the now. Readers who prefer...


Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #19

by Gary Hardcastle, George Reisch & William Irwin

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,...


U2 and Philosophy: How to Decipher an Atomic Band

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #21

by Mark Wrathall

Is it possible to be a committed Christian and a rock superstar? Can political activists make good music? Do hugely successful rock bands really care about AIDS and poverty in Africa, or is it just another image-enhancing...


James Bond and Philosophy: Questions Are Forever

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #23

by James South & Jacob Held

“Bond. James Bond.” Since Sean Connery first uttered that iconic phrase in Dr. No, more than one quarter of the world’s population has seen a 007 film. Witty and urbane, Bond seduces and kills with equal...


Bullshit and Philosophy: Guaranteed to Get Perfect Results Every Time

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #24

by Gary Hardcastle & Reisch

Popular interest in bullshit — and its near relative, truthiness — is at an all-time high, but the subject has a rich philosophical history, with Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Kant all weighing in on the matter....


South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #26

by Richard Hanley

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s long-running Comedy Central hit cartoon South Park has been equally cheered and reviled for its edgy humor, poited satire of current events and celebrities, and all-around obnoxiousness....


Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #27

by David Baggett & Drumin

The shower scene in Psycho; Cary Grant running for his life through a cornfield; “innocent” birds lined up on a fence waiting, watching — these seminal cinematic moments are as real to moviegoers as their...


The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded about Love and Haight

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #28

by Steve Gimbel

This book is another one of those late-night Grateful Dead inspired dorm room conversations with friends . . . only this time it’s your professors sitting cross-legged on the floor asking if anyone else wants...


Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #29

by Richard Greene & K. Silem Mohammad

The films of Quentin Tarantino are ripe for philosophical speculation, raising compelling questions about justice and ethics, violence and aggression, the nature of causality, and the flow of time. In this witty...


Johnny Cash and Philosophy: The Burning Ring of Truth

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #31

by John Huss & Werther

Interest in the Man in Black has grown since his death in 2003, with increased record sales, cover videos by groups like Nine Inch Nails, and the 2006 biopic Walk the Line cementing his fame. This book honors...


Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy: Darkness on the Edge of Truth

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #32

by Randall Auxier & Doug Anderson

Known as the working man's poet, the Boardwalk prophet, or simply, the Boss. If "love is a banquet at which we feed," Bruce Springsteen has provided much food for thought. In this collection of metaphysical...


Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #33

by Josef Steiff & Tristan Tamplin

In attempting to retain her "human" side, does Sharon really have free will? Is killing a Cylon murder or garbage disposal? These are some of the questions addressed in this thoughtful collection of writings...


Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #35

by Kevin Decker & Jason Eberl

Philosophy and space travel are characterized by the same fundamental purpose: exploration. An essential guide for both philosophers and Trekkers, Star Trek and Philosophy combines a philosophical spirit of...


The Legend of Zelda and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #36

by Luke Cuddy

With both young and adult gamers as loyal fans, The Legend of Zelda is one of the most beloved video game series ever created. The contributors to this volume consider the following questions and more: What...


The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy: Wicked Wisdom of the West

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #37

by Randall Auxier & Seng

From the bedtime story by L. Frank Baum to the classic 1939 film, no story has captured the imaginations of generations of children — and adults — like The Wizard of Oz. The story of Dorothy’s journey through...


Radiohead and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #38

by Brandon Forbes & George Reisch

Since their breakthrough hit "Creep" in 1993, Radiohead has continued to make waves throughout popular and political culture with its views about the Bush presidency (its 2003 album was titled Hail to the Thief),...


Jimmy Buffett and Philosophy: The Porpoise Driven Life

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #39

by Erin McKenna & Scott Pratt

Jimmy Buffett and his music have touched the lives of millions of people around the world, spanning generations and genres. But is Buffett's music just a good time, or is there a deeper level to it? Jimmy Buffett...


Transformers and Philosophy: More than Meets the Mind

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #40

by John Shook & Liz Swan

Transformers began with toys and a cartoon series in 1984 and has since grown to include comic books, movies, and video games — its science fiction story has reached an audience with a wide range second only...


Stephen Colbert and Philosophy: I Am Philosophy (And So Can You!)

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #41

by Aaron Schiller

At the head of The Colbert Report, one of the most popular shows on television, Stephen Colbert is a pop culture phenomenon. More than one million people backed his fake candidacy in the 2008 U.S. presidential...


Supervillains and Philosophy: Sometimes, Evil is its Own Reward

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #42

by Ben Dyer

The devil gets his due in the latest entry in the Pop Culture and Philosophy series. Supervillains and Philosophy features an international cabal of philosophers and comics industry professionals conspiring...


The Golden Compass and Philosophy: God Bites the Dust

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #43

by Richard Greene & Rachel Robison

The popularity of the His Dark Materials trilogy has generated a major motion picture, a stage play, video games, and a new prequel. The series has also been highly controversial with its use of exciting adventure...


Led Zeppelin and Philosophy: All Will Be Revealed

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #44

by Scott Calef

Led Zeppelin, who bestrode the world of rock like a colossus, have continually grown in popularity and influence since their official winding up in 1980. They exasperated critics and eluded classification, synthesizing...


World of Warcraft and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #45

by Luke Cuddy & John Nordlinger

Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) in videogame history, World of Warcraft is everywhere -- from episodes of South Park...


Mr. Monk and Philosophy: The Curious Case of the Defective Detective

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #46

by D. Wittkower

Mr. Monk and Philosophy is a carefully and neatly organized collection of eighteen chapters divided into exactly six groups of precisely three chapters each. Drawing on a wide range of philosophers—from Aristotle...


Anime and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #47

by Josef Steiff & Tristan Tamplin

Anime and Philosophy focuses on some of the most-loved, most-intriguing anime films and series, as well as lesser-known works, to find what lies at their core. Astro Boy, Dragon Ball Z, Ghost in the Shell, and...


The Red Sox and Philosophy: Green Monster Meditations

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #48

by Michael Macomber

This volume in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series delves into the tragic and redemptive history of the Boston Red Sox baseball franchise. Drawing on philosophers from Aristotle to Sartre, chapters range...


Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy: New Life for the Undead

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #49

by Richard Greene & K. Silem Mohammad

Since 1968's Night of the Living Dead, zombie culture has steadily limped and clawed its way into the center of popular culture. Today, zombies and vampires have taken over TV shows, comic books, cartoons, video...


Soccer and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #51

by Ted Richards

This collection of incisive articles gives a leading team of international philosophers a free kick toward exploring the complex and often hidden contours of the world of soccer. What does it really mean to...


Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #53

by Graham Priest & Damon Young

Best Lesbian Erotica 2010 travels around the world of lesbian sex with deliriously delicious stories that push lesbian lust and desire to new heights. Edited by Kathleen Warnock and selected and introduced by...


The Onion and Philosophy: Fake News Story True Alleges Indignant Area Professor

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #54

by Sharon Kaye

Martial arts and philosophy have always gone hand in hand, as well as fist in throat. Philosophical argument is closely paralleled with hand-to-hand combat. And all of today's Asian martial arts were developed...


Doctor Who and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #55

by Courtland Lewis & Paula Smithka

Not only is Doctor Who the longest-running science fiction television show in history, but it has also been translated into numerous languages, broadcast around the world, and referred to as the “way of the...


Dune and Philosophy: Weirding Way of the Mentat

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #56

by Jeffery Nicholas

Frank Herbert’s Dune is the biggest-selling science fiction story of all time; the original book and its numerous sequels have transported millions of readers into the alternate reality of the Duniverse. Dune...


Rush and Philosophy: Heart and Mind United

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #57

by Jim Berti & Durrell Bowman

The progressive/hard rock band Rush has never been as popular as it is now. A documentary film about the band, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, which was released in the summer of 2010 has been universally well...


Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #58

by Richard Greene & George Reisch

What explains the huge popular following for Dexter, currently the most-watched show on cable, which sympathetically depicts a serial killer driven by a cruel compulsion to brutally slay one victim after another?...


SpongeBob SquarePants and Philosophy: Soaking Up Secrets Under the Sea!

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #60

by Joseph Foy

SpongeBob SquarePants and Philosophy introduces fans of SpongeBob SquarePants to some of the great thinkers and questions in philosophy. The essays can be shared by young and old alike, kindling new interest...


Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #61

by Josef Steiff

This entertaining collection of essays shows that Sherlock Holmes sees things others don’t. He sees the world in a different way, and by so doing, allows us to see that same world – and human behavior –...


Inception and Philosophy: Ideas to Die For

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #62

by Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

You have to go deeper. Inception is more than just a nail-biting heist story, more than just one of the greatest movies of all time.

The latest neuroscience and philosophy of mind tell us that shared dreams...


Philip K. Dick and Philosophy: Do Androids Have Kindred Spirits?

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #63

by D. Wittkower

Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (1928–1982) is the giant imagination behind so much recent popular culture—both movies directly based on his writings, such as Blade Runner (based on the novel Do Androids...


The Rolling Stones and Philosophy: It's Just a Thought Away

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #64

by Luke Dick & George Reisch

From their commanding role in the so-called British Invasion of the early 1960s to their status as the elder statesmen (and British Knight) of rock and roll, the Stones have become more than an evanescent phenomenon...


Chuck Klosterman and Philosophy: The Real and the Cereal

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #65

by Seth Vannatta

Since he burst on the world with his heavy-metal memoir Fargo Rock City in 2001, Chuck Klosterman has been one of the most successful novelists and essayists in America. His collections of essays Sex, Drugs,...


Neil Gaiman and Philosophy: Gods Gone Wild!

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #66

by Tracy Bealer & Rachel Luria

Neil Gaiman is the imaginative wizard behind the best-selling novels American Gods (soon to be an HBO series) and The Anansi Boys, the graphic series The Sandman, and popular children’s books like Coraline...


Breaking Bad and Philosophy: Badder Living through Chemistry

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #67

by David R. R. Koepsell & Robert Arp

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....


Curb Your Enthusiasm and Philosophy: Awaken the Social Assassin Within

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #69

by Mark Ralkowski

In a promotional video for the eighth season of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David appears as Godzilla, walking through the streets of New York City, terrorizing everyone who sees him. People scream and...


Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #70

by Jon Cogburn & Mark Silcox

This volume will convince readers that the swift ascent of the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons to worldwide popularity in the 1970s and 1980s is “the most exciting event in popular culture since...


The Catcher in the Rye and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy® series #71

by Keith Dromm & Heather Salter

Few novels have had more influence on individuals and literary culture than J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Published in 1951 and intended by Salinger for adults (early drafts were published in the...


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