Peanuts and Philosophy

Popular Culture and Philosophy

Book 106
Open Court
1
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In Peanuts and Philosophy, twenty philosophers, from a diverse range of perspectives, look at different aspects of the Peanuts canon.
How can the thoughts of children, who have yet to become grown-up, help us to become more grown up ourselves? Do we get good results from believing in something like the Great Pumpkin, even though we’re disappointed every time? What can Linus’s reactions to the leukemia of his friend Janice tell us about the stages of grief? Why don’t we settle what’s right and what’s wrong by the simple method of asking Lucy? Is true happiness attainable without a warm puppy? Do some people’s kites have a natural affinity for trees? Is Sally an anarchist, a nihilist, or just a contrarian? Does Linus’s reliance on his blanket help him or hurt him? Is Charlie Brown’s philosophy of life pathetic or inspirational?
Other topics include: how the way children think carries general lessons about transcending our limitations; the Utopian quest as illustrated by Charlie’s devotion to the Little Red-Haired Girl; Snoopy’s Red Baron and history as selective memory; the Head Beagle as Big Brother. And, as we would expect, Lucy’s repeated cruel removal of Charlie's football has several philosophical applications.
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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, including The Princess Bride and Philosophy: Inconceivable! and Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter.
Rachel Robison-Greene: Is co-editor of Girls and Philosophy: This Book Isn't a Metaphor for Anything and Orange Is the New Black and Philosophy: Last Exit from Litchfield. 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 19, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780812699531
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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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In American Horror Story and Philosophy, philosophers with varying backgrounds and interests explore different aspects of this popular “erotic thriller” TV show, with its enthusiastic cult following and strong critical approval. The result is a collection of intriguing and provocative thoughts on deeper questions prompted by the creepy side of the human imagination. As an “anthology show,” American Horror Story has a unique structure in the horror genre because it explores distinct subgenres of horror in each season. As a result, each season raises its own set of philosophical issues. The show’s first season, Murder House, is a traditional haunted house story. Philosophical topics expounded here include: the moral issues pertaining to featuring a mass murderer as one of the season’s main protagonists; the problem of other minds—when I see an old hag, how can I know that you don’t see a sexy maid? And whether it is rationally justified to fear the Piggy Man. Season Two, Asylum, takes place inside a mid-twentieth-century mental hospital. Among other classic horror subgenres, this season includes story lines featuring demonic possession and space aliens. Chapters inspired by this season include such topics as: the ethics of investigative reporting and whistleblowing; personal identity and demonic possession; philosophical problems arising from eugenics; and the ethics and efficacy of torture. Season Three, Coven, focuses on witchcraft in the contemporary world. Chapters motivated by this season include: sisterhood and feminism as starkly demonstrated in a coven; the metaphysics of traditional voodoo zombies (in contrast to the currently fashionable “infected” zombies); the uses of violent revenge; and the metaphysics of reanimation. Season Four, Freak Show, takes place in a circus. Philosophical writers look at life under the Big Top as an example of “life imitating art”; several puzzles about personal identity and identity politics (crystallized in the two-headed girl, the bearded lady, and the lobster boy); the ethical question of honor and virtue among thieves; as well as several topics in social and political philosophy. Season Five, Hotel, is, among other disturbing material, about vampires. Chapters inspired by this season include: the ethics of creating vampire progeny; LGBT-related philosophical issues; and existentialism as it applies to serial killers, Season Six, Roanoke, often considered the most creative of the seasons so far, partly because of its employment of the style of documentaries with dramatic re-enactments, and its mimicry of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Among the philosophical themes explored here are what happens to moral obligations under the Blood Moon; the proper role of truth in storytelling; and the defensibility of cultural imperialism.
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