Girls and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy

Book 86
Open Court
1
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The drama-comedy show Girls—often under-rated by being perceived as Sex and the City for the Millennial generation—has made TV history and provoked controversy for its pitilessly accurate portrayal of four oddly sympathetic twenty-something female characters, notable for their self-absorption, empathy deficits, and ineptitude with relationships. Among other breakthroughs, it is the first show to depict the sex act among the alienated young as nearly always awkward and unfulfilling.
In Girls and Philosophy, a team of diverse yet always sensitive, empathic, and ept philosophers approach the world of Girls from a variety of angles and philosophical points of view. Underlying this New York world is the new reality of ambitious yet unfocused young people from comparatively advantaged backgrounds having their expectations chilled by the severe and prolonged economic recession.
The writers attack many fascinating issues arising from Girls, including the meaning of authenticity in the twenty-first century, coming of age in a society with no clear guidelines for most of what matters in life,Girls as the only TV show the pop-culture-hating professor Theodor Adorno might have admired, feminist appraisals of these not-very-feminist characters and their frustrations, what the wardrobes of the four mean philosophically, how each of the four deals with the anxiety that comes from inescapable freedom, whether we need to amend the traditional list of seven deadly sins in the context of present-day New York, how the speech of the Millennials illustrates Austin’s theory of speech acts, how the learning of Hannah, Shoshanna, Jessa, and Marnie compares with the ancient Greek theory of the education of the young, and of course, why we once again find it natural to think of women in their early- to mid-twenties as ‘girls’.
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About the author

Richard Greene: Is Professor of Philosophy at Weber State University in Utah. He is co-editor of many volumes in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series, the most recent ones being Boardwalk Empire and Philosophy and Dexter and Philosophy.
Rachel Robison-Greene: Is co-editor of Boardwalk Empire and Philosophy, Dexter and Philosophy, and The Golden Compass and Philosophy. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Court
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Published on
Dec 9, 2014
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780812698879
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Essays
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The sharp-shooting authors in Justified and Philosophy take aim at many of the same philosophical problems that the Justified TV series grapples with. For instance, is Tim Olyphant's character, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, morally justified in using his Wild-Wild-West-style vigilante tactics to clean up Harlan County, Kentucky? After all, the meth dealers, thieves, murderers, and other low-life scumbags all deserve what's coming to them, right? Not so fast, Quick-Draw McGraw! What about the law? What about a thorough and complete investigation of matters before dispensing so-called "justice"? What about the idea of the punishment fitting the crime?

Deputy Marshal Givens wears a white hat and fights the "bad guys" so he must be a "good guy," right? His opponents are violent drug dealers, white supremacists, and thieves. Givens carries a badge, but when he shoots or kills people, is it always justified? What other choice does he have? Would any other method be as effective in rural eastern Kentucky where criminal activity is one of the few viable options for making a living?

The coal-mining culture of Harlan County, Kentucky is an important backdrop to Justified, and the issues surrounding the coal industry are addressed in some chapters. Some of them include health problems like black lung, the dissolution of communities, the reduction in employment alternatives, the destruction of the environment with mountain-top removal and fracking, and the increase in crime and poverty. If Boyd Crowder robs the coal company responsible for exploiting his community, is that justified?

The relationship between Boyd and Raylan dates back to a childhood friendship. Then when they older, they worked in the mines together. One chapter explores the character and motivation of both men and argues that each follows a different moral compass. Another chapter discusses the importance of family to the character of Mags Bennett and how that guides her actions and sense of duty. Another topic of discussion is whether the end justifies the means when Boyd and his gang destroy a meth lab and end up killing one of the meth cookers.

Other chapters delve into a variety of fascinating philosophical themes that emerge in this modern-day cowboy show.
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