Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke” as Want to Read:
The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke (Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture #33)

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A lighthearted meditation on the philosophical quandaries of the hit television show "The Big Bang Theory"Ever wonder what Aristotle might say about the life Sheldon Cooper leads? Why Thomas Hobbes would applaud the roommate agreement? Who Immanuel Kant would treat with "haughty derision" for weaving "un-unravelable webs?" And--most importantly--whether Wil Wheaton "is" tr ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 20th 2012 by Wiley (first published March 30th 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 772)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I love TBBT -it's one of my favorite shows- so I bought this rather mindlessly, not really looking at what this book is actually about. Turns out it's about a wide range of philosophical issues that are discussed by using characters and situations of TBBT. In itself this sounds like a pretty good idea, but the execution just wasn't great. First of all, did anyone actually edit this? Because the different articles aren't in sync at all. The birth and death dates of Aristotle were mentioned like 5 ...more
Although I'm a big fan of both TBBT and philosophy, I found this book disappointing.
The first half is fun, rich in TBBT citations and jokes, but hollow about philosophy.
The second half is more serious, less jokes and more thoughtful. But I didn't found much more substance here. The only chapter I really enjoyed is the last, about gender.

If you love TBBT and you are new to philosophy, then you could enjoy this as an introduction.
But if you're already versed in the topic, you won't likely find mu
I bought this on a whim at the Hayden Planetarium gift shop, not looking too closely at the content. I love the show, it seemed an appropriate souvenir, and I figured it would be entertaining enough.

The idea has great potential: introduce various schools of philosophy by way of pop culture. Sadly, I was singing "Where Have All the Editors Gone?" throughout most of the book. The chapters didn't seem to hang together well, with more than a little bit of overlap within the subject matter. With four
I wasn't too happy with this book, a book that is often utilized for an intro philosophy class. It's a whole series of exploring philosophy in pop culture. Although the idea is neat, I didn't find this to be executed well.

Everything is split into chapters and encapsulated. It's not meant to read through like a story. There's no growth throughout the book. Each chapter stands for itself.

Which wouldn't be bad, except there's a lot of repetition. Each chapter references scenes and dialog to make it
Robert D. Cornwall
If you are a Big Bang Theory (TV show not the scientific theory) then you will like this book. In fact, you don't have to be a big philosophy fan to enjoy the book -- you just have to have an interest in the show and its characters. So, did I like it? Of course, I'm a big fan of the show.

This book is part of a series of books that use essays to explore philosophical topics through interacting with an expression of popular culture. In this case The Big Bang Theory.

In the course of 17 chapters ga
The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke is somewhat amusing and interesting only if you are a fan of the show. If you are a student of philosophy or thinking of dipping your toes into philosophy (but are not a fan of BBT) then I recommend you do not read this book. I’m mildly interested in philosophy, but am no expert so I can’t (and won’t) write critically about whether I think the philosophical theories of Aristotle, Locke, et al were applied properly. Howev ...more
I can't wait to read this! It was a surprise Christmas present... I didn't even know it existed! Awesome -- The Big Bang Theory, nerds, and philosophy geekdom :)


This one didn't start off all that promising. It felt like some of the essays were either trying REALLY hard to fit into the Pop Culture and Philosophy umbrella or were saying the most obvious things so that they weren't insightful (like, a high schooler with no philosophy training could B.S. their way through wri
Cristóbal Barrera
I will start by saying that this book caught me at the very beginning. The first paragraphs were very interesting and contained many different references to the series it's based on. However... (Spoiler alert) through reading you get to realize that the edition of the book was not as thorough and careful as one would expect it to be. Many of the references are repeated in different chapters and eventhough the characters provide several appealing situations to analyse, the writers tended to take ...more
Another lark, focusing the lens of philosophy on another pop culture craze.

These anthologies do become somewhat repetitive. This is a bit more interesting. For instance, though some contributors relate it to Aristotle's analysis of friendship, only Nicholas G. Evans in his essay has noticed that the show's closest approach to Aristotle's ideal friendship is between Sheldon and Penny.
This book is a collection of texts with no single author to all (each chapter has its authors), that said, there are chapters well written and very good, but also there are some really awful ones -- obviously written by someone who doesn't like the show or is doing an unwanted job.
Stephanie Zinggeler
It was a fairly quick and interesting read. It provided me with a smattering of philosophy relevant to the group of characters portrayed in the show. It's quite useful in gaining a basic understanding of several philosophical points, viewed through a comedic pop culture frame.
Sharon Spadaro
Being a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory I was excited to get this book and read it. It was a big disappointment and not worth the 18+ dollars that I spent on it. The book is repetitive and covers the same topics over and over. There are many inconsistencies with spelling and dates, particularly Plato, who was given at least three different life span dates. Characters are misquoted, i.e. Howard on p. 130 should read " Neediness times dress size squared" I feel the book would be better titled "She ...more
Kimberly Erskine
It was interesting to see how philosophy can be approached to The Big Bang Theory. I was able to learn a bit about philosophy and encouraged to study the great philosophers more deeply. I also learned a whole new way to view the show. However, the book was rather poorly written. I found a handful of grammar and spelling mistakes that annoyed me and ruined my reading experience. I also found many of the examples and arguments to be repetitive. It felt like they used the same episodes and examples ...more
Joshua Mingo
Wasn't the best in the series, but ok.
Even if you don't know much about philosophy, this book is relatively easy to read and understand.
I checked this book out of the library on a whim. Philosophy is not a typical subject matter for me. Being a fan of the Big Bang Theory made it an entertaining read. I doubt the book would be enjoyable by anyone not a fan, as it uses the relationships and personalities of the characters to illustrate philosophical points. The book is a collection of essays, and some were more interesting than others. It made me love the show even more to have a deeper understanding of the characters!
Christiane Stephens
Disclaimer: I love TBBT and I'm a philosophy major so my views are completely subjective. These essays are not very thought provoking outside of the show but I feel it's mainly geared towards fans anyway. Jokes and characters can be lost on people not familiar with the show. The correlations to ancient philosophers is spot on. Readers should understand that this book is ultimately for entertainment value sprinkled with some insights from philosophy.
I very much enjoyed the philosophy classes that I took in college and I watch The Big Bang Theory nearly religiously, so this book seemed like a pretty good fit for my bookshelf. I was wrong. The first few essays kept me engaged, but after that I started the grow bored. Both the science and the philosophy in the majority of the essays felt very watered down. I was hoping for something much more than this book turned out to be.
Doc Kinne
The book started out well, sagged a bit in the middle, and picked up a bit in the end. I figure I was the near perfect demographic for this book: a smart fan of the show that hadn't opened up a philosophy book since college.

You need to be a fan of the show to like this book. You cannot have any advanced Philosophy degree or this book will be far too simplistic for you.
Margaret Sankey
Part of a smart and affectionate series connecting academic theory and popular culture, this installment is a collection of essays from smartass scientists and philosophers weighing matters like the portrayal of string theory, Hobbes and the Roommate Agreement, the Aristotelian matrix of friendship and the big question--is Wil Wheaton a Nietzschean Übermensch?
As a fan of the show I was eager to read this series of essays on various aspects of the characters and plots from the show. Unfortunately, they get quickly repetitive, and a couple are, to quote Sheldon, "hopelessly derivative". However, I was rewarded for my perseverance in reading to the end, as the last two essays are among the better ones.
Meh.....Just meh..... I was expecting more science and fewer references to the show :/

And I'm not even going to discuss the chapter about Sheldon's possibility of having Aspeger's and how it said that, because his symptoms/characteristics aren't disabling, that it's OK to laugh at him. Yeah, whatever and fuck you too.
Book was given to me 'cuz I'm a huge fan of the TV show. Although the original conceit was interesting (a "theory of everything" knitted together by the show) the book fails to execute convincingly, and worse, misses the particular flavor of the show's humour.
It was very dense and philosophical. I was expecting the Big Bang Theory to be looked at through a philosophical lens; instead it was philosophy explained through the Big Bang Theory. Which isn't necessarily bad, it just wasn't something I enjoyed.
Angel Martinez
i really lied this book it gives insight to the tv series and will have watching the characters differently and understanding their actions in the show according to philosophical theories. i enjoyed the show even more because of it.
Kyle Wendy Skultety (
Good job linking philosophical tenets with the BB crowd; except he kept using the same episodes over and over again, with the same quotes. Did the editor only see a few reruns here?
Good for fans of the show and philosophers alike.
Aug 31, 2012 Manon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the BBT
Recommended to Manon by: Me
Interesting if you are a fan and if you have an open mind towards Philosophy. Sometimes a bit tricky to understand when becoming really specific.
A must read maybe not but if you like the show, it is kinda cool.
I enjoyed reading this book but then again I love reading about Philosophy so this book was right down my line of likes. If you do not reading about Philosophy then this book might not interest you.
Cindy Engquist
My husband surprised me with this book for Xmas, as I'm an avid BBT fan. I love reading these possible explanations and elaborations on the behavior of all the BBT characters.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality
  • Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the Socratic Way
  • Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter
  • Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful than You Can Possibly Imagine
  • The Daily Show and Philosophy: Moments of Zen in the Art of Fake News
  • South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More Penetrating
  • More Matrix and Philosophy: Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale
  • X-Men and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the Mutant X-Verse
  • Inception and Philosophy: Because It's Never Just a Dream
  • The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview
  • House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies
  • Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy: Knowledge Here Begins Out There
  • Dr. Seuss and Philosophy: Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!
  • Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe
  • Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!
  • A Brief History of the Universe
  • The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration

Other Books in the Series

Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture (1 - 10 of 39 books)
  • South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today
  • Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery
  • Family Guy and Philosophy
  • 24 and Philosophy: The World According to Jack
  • Lost and Philosophy: The Island Has Its Reasons
  • The Daily Show and Philosophy: Moments of Zen in the Art of Fake News
  • Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy: Knowledge Here Begins Out There
  • The Office and Philosophy: Scenes from the Unexamined Life
  • Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul
  • House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies
The Philosophy of the X-Files The Philosophy of Joss Whedon La filosofía de The Big Bang Theory Steven Spielberg and Philosophy: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Book Classic Questions and Contemporary Film: An Introduction to Philosophy with Powerweb: Philosophy

Share This Book