Ross Barlow Posted September 19, 2007 Share Posted September 19, 2007 (edited) *Popular Culture and Philosophy* is a book series from Open Court publishers. Series Editor: William Irwin. This is a very interesting project and a lot of fun. If you have any interest in or background in philosophy, you might enjoy some of their titles. I only became aware of this book series when browsing through an Asia Books store in Bangkok and finding *The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All*, (2003), edited by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson. On the basis of this one book – which is Number 5 in a series of a few dozen titles -- I would predict that certain volumes in the rest of the series (the titles of which I list below) may very well be of interest to many who read this. In my case, I know J.R.R. Tolkien’s *The Lord of the Rings* (TLOTR) fairly well, being a huge fan of both the books and the movies, and I must say that *TLOTR and Philosophy* is an extremely well done book. It is funny as well as thoughtful, interesting and informative. There are 17 contributors all of whom are professional philosophers and/or theologians who love Tolkien. There are many “inside” jokes that only Tolkien fans will fully understand and appreciate. The book is a delight because of the obvious shared love of the material by editors and contributing authors. The authors come from all over the philosophical map, providing views from quite diverse philosophical vantage points. I do not agree with all of them, but the essays are always instructive and mind-stretching. My favorite is Aeon Skoble’s application of Aristotelian virtue ethics to TLOTR. (Aeon Skoble is editor of *Reason Papers*.) I played a little game with myself while reading the book. I purposely did not look at the back of the book for the author’s profile paragraph until I had finished reading his or her essay. I did not want to start reading with a preconception, and I wanted to see how much I could guess about the author just from the text alone. Extrapolating from my own great appreciation of this one volume, I would urge you to seek out any of the titles below that might examine a particular topic for which you have a strong fondness and understanding. The following titles are in this Open Court series: Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book About Everything and Nothing. (2000). The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer. (2001). (Aeon Skoble, ed.) The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real. (2002). Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale. The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All. (2003). Baseball and Philosophy. (2004). The Sopranos and Philosophy: I Kill, Therefore I Am. (2004). Woody Allen and Philosophy. (2004). ed., Mark T. Conard and Aeon J. Skoble. Philosophy and Neo-Noir. Our Spiritual Crisis. Poker and Philosophy: Pocket Rockets and Philosopher Kings. Hip-Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason. The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film. The Beatles and Philosophy. U2 and Philosophy: How to Decipher an Atomic Band. James Bond and Philosophy. Bob Dylan and Philosophy. Star Wars and Philosophy. Hitchcock and Philosophy. The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless. Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think! The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch, & the Worldview. South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating. Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy. Bullshit and Philosophy. Pink Floyd and Philosophy. Harley-Davidson and Philosophy. More Matrix and Philosophy: Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded. The Grateful Dead and Philosophy. Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the Socratic Way. The Philosophy of Film Noir. The Atkins Diet and Philosophy. With such a variety of titles, there is probably something to offend or to elate near anyone. I hope that the series will keep expanding. I will send a follow-up post which is my review of *The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All*. Even if you do not like TLOTR, my review of it may give you an idea about the nature of the Open Court series by this one example from it. -Ross Barlow. Edited September 19, 2007 by Ross Barlow Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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