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The Simpsons and Philosophy:
No doubt Aristotle just rolled over in his grave on the release of The Simpsons and Philosophy. An essay called "Homer and Aristotle" would appear to be a treatise on two ancient Greek thinkers; in this case, it is a depiction of Homer Simpson's Aristotelian virtues. Raja Halwani's "Homeric" essay is amusing though and moreover it actually ends up being enlightening, especially for those just learning Aristotle's ethics. Bart may be a Nietzschean without knowing it, Mr Burns is a cipher for unhappiness (except when he eats "so-called 'iced-cream'"), and Ned Flanders raises questions about neighbourly love. The book has a lot to say about the Simpsons and even more to say about philosophy.
The Simpsons and Philosophy collects 18 essays into an unpretentious, tongue-in-cheek and surprisingly intelligent look at philosophy through the lens of Matt Groening's vaunted animated series. The editors are quick to point out that they don't think "The Simpsons is the equivalent of history's best works of literature--but it nevertheless is just deep enough and certainly funny enough, to warrant serious attention". The writers of the book are mostly professional philosophers and they are appropriately erudite. But what is truly astonishing, even for a confessed Simpsons addict, is their breadth of Simpsons knowledge, spanning all 12 seasons of the show's history. The Simpsons and Philosophy is obviously not intended to be a turning point in modern thought but it is an excellent introduction to some core elements of philosophy. --Eric de Place [via]