Patrice Sartor's Reviews > The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer

The Simpsons and Philosophy by William Irwin
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Aug 23, 2010

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bookshelves: philosophy, young-adult

** spoiler alert ** Reading Level: Adult. Seeing this title mentioned in one of my textbooks became the impetus for this collection subject. I used to be a huge Simpson’s fan, and after some searching online, I discovered there are a whole lot of books based on popular culture and philosophy. I expected something silly and light-hearted, with lots of pictures of the Simpson characters.

Instead, this title has no pictures and is actually quite a serious read on philosophy. Fans of the show will get the most mileage from this title, since all of the chapters refer to the characters and oftentimes to specific scenes in certain episodes. I would recommend this one more to teens that have already studied a bit of philosophy than those that have never been introduced to it, for the book dives in right away. Homer is looked at from the perspective of Aristotle’s philosophy. In a chapter on Bart, Nietzsche’s viewpoint is examined in regards to the proverbial trouble-maker. Each chapter is written by someone different, who all seem to vary in their knowledge of the Simpson’s universe.

Some focus more on the philosophy, some discuss the show so much that I was tempted to re-watch some old favorites, and the best combine both of these worlds. For the teen that is ready to sink their teeth into something a bit more challenging, this will fit the bill. The backmatter consists of episode titles, (with their original airdate), a list, with a brief description, of the philosophers the chapters are based on, a summary of the chapter authors and their qualifications, an index, and an ad for another book by the publisher. This book does not need to be read in any certain order.

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