The Simpsons and Philosophy

The Simpsons and Philosophy

William Irwin

The Simpsons is one of the most literary and intelligent comedies on television today—fertile ground for questions such as: Does Nietzsche justify Bart’s bad behavior? Is hypocrisy always unethical? What is Lisa’s conception of the Good?

From the editor of and contributors to the widely-praised Seinfeld and Philosophy, The Simpsons and Philosophy is an insightful and humorous look at the philosophical tenets of America’s favorite animated family that will delight Simpsons fans and philosophy aficionados alike. Twenty-one philosophers and academics discuss and debate the absurd, hyper-ironic, strangely familiar world that is Springfield, the town without a state.

In exploring the thought of key philosophers including Aristotle, Marx, Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, and Kant through episode plots and the characters’ antics, the contributors tackle issues like irony and the meaning of life, American anti-intellectualism, and existential rebellion. The volume also includes an episode guide and a chronology of philosophers which lists the names and dates of the major thinkers in the history of philosophy, accompanied by a representative quote from each.

Contributors: David L.G. Arnold, Daniel Barwick, Eric Bronson, Paul A. Cantor, Mark T. Conard, Gerald J. Erion, Raja Halwani, Jason Holt, William Irwin, Kelley Dean Jolley, Deborah Knight, James Lawler, J.R. Lombardo, Carl Matheson, Jennifer L. McMahon, Aeon J. Skoble, Dale E. and James J. Snow, David Vessey, James J. Wallace, and Joseph A. Zeccardi

The Simpsons and Philosophy - Reviews

“Fans of The Simpsons are certain to find this book to be the perfect rebuttal for those who dismiss the show as a no-brainer.”

Publisher’s Weekly Publishers Weekly

“The Simpsons has received serious attention in the past, most notably David Foster Wallace’s analysis of Simpsonian meta-irony in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (1997...

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