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Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test (Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture #11)

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  647 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Alan Moore's Watchmen is set in 1985 and chronicles the alternative history of the United States where the US edges dangerously closer to nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Within this world exists a group of crime busters, who don elaborate costumes to conceal their identity and fight crime, and an intricate plot to kill and discredit these "superheroes."

Alan Moore's Wat
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ebook, 240 pages
Published May 4th 2009 by John Wiley & Sons (first published 2009)
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Guillermo
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The topics range from what is good and evil, what is virtuous, homosexuality, feminism (which, by the way, was actually my favorite argument), political philosophy and the metaphysics of Dr. Manhattan. However, it would seem the two most popular characters these philosophers wrote about were Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) and Rorschach (the subtitle is, in fact, A Rorschach Test). It's understandable why these two characters are the most famous - if you break down the graphic novel, you'll see the wh ...more
Josh
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I'll point out the obvious: If you haven't read Watchmen yet, go do it now. I'll wait... Seriously, go read it. At least see the movie or something.

Okay, now that you've had your mind sufficiently blown, you know what this book proclaims, Watchmen is not your father's comic book. In fact, it's not typical fiction. Gone are the annoyingly perfect hero and cartoonishly evil villain. The costumed vigilantes in Watchmen are set in a realistic (sort of) world. The realism is exemplified by the
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Ada
Sep 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the essays in Part I a lot, and Part II was okay, but Part III was unfortunately completely ruined by Robert Arp's blatantly homophobic essay. Sure, it's written as a defense of the "icky" homosexual lifestyle, but it's pretty evident that the person he's trying to convince is himself.

First of all, what does this guy's internal battle against his own prejudice have to do with Watchmen and philosophy? And whose brilliant idea was it to make a homophobe write an essay on homosexuality in t
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Joseph Young
A mix of essays by different authors, giving the compiled book an odd feel.

Much of the works focus on the archetypes that each of the characters fulfill, with regard to different philosophers' works. Several essays were particularly frustrating, particularly those that deigned to assume what the reader felt when reading passages. The essay on homosexuality is particularly embarrassing and dated, barely involving the gay Watchmen, but instead just advocating for acceptance. I particularly enjoyed
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Paul W.
This was a little too long and some of the philosophy seemed out of place. I enjoyed some parts of it but man was it a slog to get through.
Tiara
This is my first venture into the Philosophy and Pop Culture series. I wasn't disappointed with most of what I'd read. I was a little hesitant to read this at first because I thought these essays might've been just slapped together to appeal to an audience, but it was much more than that.

The topics span a range of ideas in philosophical context including feminism, virtue, homosexuality. As with any book that has multiple writers, the essays themselves were hit or miss.I enjoyed most of the essa
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Josh McInnis
This book could have gone into so much more detail and a lot of questions discussed are indirectly answered.
Shannon
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philosophy has always been difficult for me to fully understand and wrap my head around, and while that might be a part of philosophy (I've never met someone who studied the subject without delighting in wordy riddles and expansive anecdotes), I definitely like being able to get things. This book, by using popular culture and the intense depth of Watchmen, relates psychological and philosophical issues within the graphic novel to known philosophical theories. Subjects span the board, from homose ...more
Christopher Munroe
...I am an absolute sucker for these things. Take a piece of pop-culture, use it as a segue into a series of extremely accessible philosophy essays teaching the basics to somebody who isn't familiar with the basic concepts behind the foremost thinkers of history. A simple idea, executed well, I tend to read the series at a rate of about one a year, as I stumble on volumes which use pieces of culture I'm personally connected with as their jumping-off point.

And Watchmen and... is an excellent exam
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Tom
Apr 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book of this series I have read and I found it quite enjoyable. By taking a well-recognized aspect of popular culture, the authors of the various essays explain how the graphic novel Watchmen can be used to understand different aspects of existentialism, feminism, homosexuality, the nature of heroism, and how a character who can see time as an endless loop might relate to the world around him. They even take the time to discuss whether or not comics can be literature. This book ...more
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“Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not steered by vague, metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us.” 2 likes
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