This book examines some of the most loved, best-known and intriguing anime films and series to find what lies at their core, underneath the typical but by no means ubiquitous visual elements of big eyes, big hair and bright colours. But don't be fooled, these are not children's stories. These are stories about monsters, witches, robots, children and spirits who grapple with questions of societal violence, ethics, morality, justice, heroism, identity and the soul, whether in the midst of World War II or long after World War III, whether in a magical valley or on a malevolent space station. Anime has become a worldwide phenomenon, painting its stories across a variety of genres, eras and landscapes, as well as influencing live action filmmakers like the Wachowski Brothers and Quentin Tarantino. If you've been wondering why so many people love anime or even if you're already a true otaku, Anime and Philosophy will give you a deeper appreciation for not just the art but also the storytelling of Japan's animated films, TV series and OVA (original video animation).
This brief dissertation will open up the field to a heretofore neglected form of audiovisual media : Japanese anime. I will develop a concept of anime-worlds from Thomas Lamarre's media theory and philosophy of technology alongside Daniel Yacavone's film-philosophy in order to explore how anime can be philosophical and the ways in which it can engage in reflective philosophical thought. I will demonstrate the value of this approach by addressing specific examples of anime and examining how they develop ideas of fate and freedom.
The best and wisest of men or a heartless machine? Crusader for justice or cynical egoist? Mr. Holmes, the brain of Baker Street, continues to fascinate, to baffle, and to be interpreted very differently—by, among others, Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch, without losing his unmistakable identity. Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy applies observation and deduction to the ultimate “three pipe problem,” the meaning of Sherlock Holmes. -- Cover p.  and publisher's website.
This study addresses the relationship between Japanese aesthetics, a field steeped in philosophy and traditional knowledge, and anime, a prominent part of contemporary popular culture. There are three premises: (1) the abstract concepts promoted by Japanese aesthetics find concrete expression at the most disparate levels of everyday life; (2) the abstract and the concrete coalesce in the visual domain, attesting to the visual nature of Japanese culture at large; and (3) anime can help us appreciate many aspects of Japan’s aesthetic legacy, in terms of both its theoretical propositions and its visual, even tangible, aspects.
Despite the longevity of animation and its significance within the history of cinema, film theorists have focused on live-action motion pictures and largely ignored hand-drawn and computer-generated movies. Thomas Lamarre contends that the history, techniques, and complex visual language of animation, particularly Japanese animation, demands serious and sustained engagement, and in The Anime Machine he lays the foundation for a new critical theory for reading Japanese animation, showing how anime fundamentally differs from other visual media. The Anime Machine defines the visual characteristics of anime and the meanings generated by those specifically “animetic” effects—the multiplanar image, the distributive field of vision, exploded projection, modulation, and other techniques of character animation—through close analysis of major films and television series, studios, animators, and directors, as well as Japanese theories of animation. Lamarre first addresses the technology of anime: the cells on which the images are drawn, the animation stand at which the animator works, the layers of drawings in a frame, the techniques of drawing and blurring lines, how characters are made to move. He then examines foundational works of anime, including the films and television series of Miyazaki Hayao and Anno Hideaki, the multimedia art of Murakami Takashi, and CLAMP’s manga and anime adaptations, to illuminate the profound connections between animators, characters, spectators, and technology. Working at the intersection of the philosophy of technology and the history of thought, Lamarre explores how anime and its related media entail material orientations and demonstrates concretely how the “animetic machine” encourages a specific approach to thinking about technology and opens new ways for understanding our place in the technologized world around us.
Is it possible to be a committed Christian and a rock superstar? Can political activists make good music? Do hugely successful rock bands really care about AIDS and poverty in Africa, or is it just another image-enhancing schtick? U2 and Philosophy ponders these and other seeming dichotomies in the career of the Irish supergroup. For over two decades, U2 has been one of the biggest acts in rock music. They’ve produced over a dozen platinum and multiplatinum records and won 15 Grammy Awards. Critics everywhere have praised the band’s thoughtful, complex lyrics and the artistry of their music. At the same time, Bono, the group’s lead singer, has dedicated himself to political and social causes, blurring the line between rock star and respected statesman. Offering fresh insight into the band’s music and activism, these thought-provoking essays allows fans to discover philosophy through the eyes of U2, and rediscover U2 through the eyes of philosophers.
Transformers began with toys and a cartoon series in 1984 and has since grown to include comic books, movies, and video games — its science fiction story has reached an audience with a wide range second only to that of Star Wars. Here, in Transformers and Philosophy, a dream team of philosophers pursues the fascinating questions posed by humankind’s encounter with an artificially intelligent mechanical civilization: Is genuine artificial intelligence possible? Would a robotic civilization come with its own morality and artistic life, and would it find a need for romantic love? Should we be more careful about developing robots that may eventually develop ideas of their own? Transformers and Philosophy puts Transformers under a microscope and exposes its philosophical implications in an instantly readable way.
Discussing the philosophical issues raised by a fake psychic, this book reveals that the hit TV show has much to tell us about human ways of coping with death, as well as the problem of justified knowledge, the ethics of law enforcement, and the interaction of love, friendship, loyalty and professionalism. Original.
The hit television drama Breaking Bad is discussed by professional thinkers who compare the major themes of the show with philosophical concepts and answer questions about injustice, retaliation and the potential of everyone to become a ruthless criminal. Original.
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card’s award-winning 1985 novel, has been discovered and rediscovered by generations of science fiction fans, even being adopted as reading by the U.S. Marine Corps. Ender's Game and its sequels explore rich themes — the violence and cruelty of children, the role of empathy in war, and the balance of individual dignity and the social good — with compelling elements of a coming-of-age story. Ender’s Game and Philosophy brings together over 30 philosophers to engage in wide-ranging discussion on issues such as: the justifiability of pre-emptive strikes; how Ender’s disconnected and dispassionate violence is mirrored in today’s drone warfare; whether the end of saving the species can justify the most brutal means; the justifiability of lies and deception in wartime, and how military schools produce training in virtue. The authors of Ender’s Game and Philosophy challenge readers to confront the challenges that Ender’s Game presents, bringing new insights to the idea of a just war, the virtues of the soldier, the nature of childhood, and the serious work of playing games.
From their commanding role in the so-called British Invasion of the early 1960s to their status as the elder statesmen (and British Knight) of rock and roll, the Stones have become more than an evanescent phenomenon in pop culture. They have become a touchstone not only for the history of our times?their performance at the Altamont Raceway marked the "end of the sixties," while their 1990 concert in Prague helped Czechoslovakia and other eastern bloc nations celebrate their newfound freedom (and satisfaction) out from under Moscow's thumb. Because of their longevity, the music and career of the Stones?much more than The Beatles?stand as touchstones in the personal lives of even casual Stones fans. Everyone of a certain age remembers the Stones on Ed Sullivan, the death of founder Brian Jones, their favorite songs, concerts, or videos, and their stance in the classic ?Beatles versus Stones” debates. In the wake of Keith Richards's bestselling autobiography, Life (2010), many are now reliving these events and decades from the viewpoint of the band's endearing and seemingly death-defying guitarist. The chapters in The Rolling Stones and Philosophy celebrate the Stones' place in our lives by digging into the controversies, the symbols, and meanings the band and its songs have for so many. What might you mean (and what did Mick mean) by ?sympathy for the Devil”? Did the Stones share any of the blame for the deaths at Altamont, as critic Lester Bangs charged they did in Rolling Stone magazine? What theories of ethics and personality lay behind the good-boy image of the Beatles and the bad-boy reputation the Stones acquired? If Keith Richards really had his blood replaced four separate times, does that make him a zombie? How do the Glimmer Twins help us refine our understanding of friendship? Written by a dozen philosophers and scholars who adore the Rolling Stones not only for their music, this book will become required reading for anyone seeking maximum satisfaction from "the world's greatest rock and roll band."
The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson's spectacular film about the death of Jesus, has quickly become one of the most widely-viewed movies of all time—and one of the most fiercely vilified. It is more loved and simultaneously more loathed than any previous work of cinematographic art. Some maintain that this film has brought them to a new faith in Christ or a deeper understanding of the faith they already had. Others criticize the work for its supposedly gratuitous gore, alleged historical inaccuracy, or its debatable theological assumptions. In Mel Gibson's Passion and Philosophy, twenty philosophers with widely varying religious and philosophical backgrounds examine all the most important issues raised by the movie, without ridicule or rancor. How can we decide what God intended to tell us? Why do Christians and Jews apparently report seeing two very different Mel Gibson movies? Was Christ a pacifist? Does the film truly follow the gospels? How can we blame Judas for doing what God wanted him to do? Did George Hegel answer Mel Gibson 200 years ahead of time?
The Atkins diet has transformed the lives of millions of people, revolutionizing grocery store shelves, restaurant menus, and dinner-table conversations. But there are questions beyond its efficacy and longevity. Is the Atkins diet a new wrinkle in capitalist exploitation or a twisted expression of negative body images? Is it a symbol of super-masculinity? Has the Atkins diet really been around for centuries under other names? Can it increase intelligence, or cause global warming and melt the polar ice caps? How does Atkins fit into Kant’s conception of the moral life, or Rousseau’s vision of a kinder, gentler human society? The Atkins Diet and Philosophy wittily explores these and other pressing questions in sixteen entertaining essays. Following the same fun, readable approach as earlier volumes in this series, this book uses philosophy to put the Atkins diet under the microscope, and uses the Atkins diet to teach vital philosophical lessons for life.
The drama-comedy show Girls—often under-rated by being perceived as Sex and the City for the Millennial generation—has made TV history and provoked controversy for its pitilessly accurate portrayal of four oddly sympathetic twenty-something female characters, notable for their self-absorption, empathy deficits, and ineptitude with relationships. Among other breakthroughs, it is the first show to depict the sex act among the alienated young as nearly always awkward and unfulfilling. In Girls and Philosophy, a team of diverse yet always sensitive, empathic, and ept philosophers approach the world of Girls from a variety of angles and philosophical points of view. Underlying this New York world is the new reality of ambitious yet unfocused young people from comparatively advantaged backgrounds having their expectations chilled by the severe and prolonged economic recession. The writers attack many fascinating issues arising from Girls, including the meaning of authenticity in the twenty-first century, coming of age in a society with no clear guidelines for most of what matters in life,Girls as the only TV show the pop-culture-hating professor Theodor Adorno might have admired, feminist appraisals of these not-very-feminist characters and their frustrations, what the wardrobes of the four mean philosophically, how each of the four deals with the anxiety that comes from inescapable freedom, whether we need to amend the traditional list of seven deadly sins in the context of present-day New York, how the speech of the Millennials illustrates Austin’s theory of speech acts, how the learning of Hannah, Shoshanna, Jessa, and Marnie compares with the ancient Greek theory of the education of the young, and of course, why we once again find it natural to think of women in their early- to mid-twenties as ‘girls’.
Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy presents twenty-one chapters by different writers, all D&D aficionados but with starkly different insights and points of view. The book is divided into three parts. The first, "Heroic Tier: The Ethical Dungeon-Crawler," explores what D&D has to teach us about ethics. Part II, "Paragon Tier: Planes of Existence," arouses a new sense of wonder about both the real world and the collaborative world game players create. The third part, "Epic Tier: Leveling Up," is at the crossroads of philosophy and the exciting new field of Game Studies.
What makes humans different from other animals, what humans are entitled to do to other species, whether time travel is possible, what limits should be placed on science and technology, the morality and practicality of genetic engineering—these are just some of the philosophical problems raised by Planet of the Apes. Planet of the Apes and Philosophy looks at all the deeper issues involved in the Planet of the Apes stories. It covers the entire franchise, from Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel Monkey Planet to the successful 2012 reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The chapters reflect diverse points of view, philosophical, religious, and scientific. The ethical relations of humans with animals are explored in several chapters, with entertaining and incisive observations on animal intelligence, animal rights, and human-animal interaction. Genetic engineering is changing humans, animals, and plants, raising new questions about the morality of such interventions. The scientific recognition that humans and chimps share 99 percent of their genes makes a future in which non-human animals acquire greater importance a distinct possibility. Planet of the Apes is the most resonant of all scientific apocalypse myths.
More Doctor Who and Philosophy is a completely new collection of chapters, additional to Doctor Who and Philosophy (2010) by the same editors. Since that first Doctor Who and Philosophy, much has happened in the Whoniverse: a new and controversial regeneration of the Doctor, multiple new companions, a few creepy new enemies of both the Doctor and planet Earth. And the show’s fiftieth anniversary! We’ve learned some astounding new things from the ever-developing story: that the Doctor’s number one rule is to lie, that he claims to have forgotten his role in the mass extermination of the Time Lords and the Daleks, that the Daleks do have a concept of divine beauty (divine hatred, of course), and that Daleks may become insane (didn’t we assume they already were?) Oh, and the cult of the Doctor keeps growing worldwide, with more cultish fans in the US, more and bigger Who conventions, more viewers of all ages, and more serious treatment by scholars from many disciplines. New questions have been raised and new questioners have come along, so there are plenty of new topics for philosophical scrutiny. Is the “impossible” girl really impossible? Is there anything wrong with an inter-species lesbian relationship (the kids weren’t quite ready for that in 1963, but no one blinks an eye in 2015)? Can it really be right for the Doctor to lie and to selectively forget? We even have two authors who have figured out how to build a TARDIS—instructions included! (Wait, there’s a catch, no . . . ?) And then there’s that old question that just won’t go away: why does the Doctor always regenerate as a male, and is that ever going to change? An added feature of this awesome new volume is that the editors have reached out to insiders of Who fandom, people who run hugely successful Who conventions, play in Who-inspired bands, and run wildly popular podcasts and websites, to share their privileged insights into why the Doctor is so philosophically deep. No more spoilers. It’s time for the truly thoughtful travelers in both time and space to rev up the TARDIS once more. . . . Allons-y, Alonzo!
This collection of eighteen chapters by talented philosophical minds probes some of the many lessons to be learned from Orange Is the New Black (mostly the addictive Netflix comedy-drama but with some attention to the best-selling real-life book by Piper Kerman). The show and the book that inspired it both dramatically highlight the troubling, stressful situation of millions of incarcerated Americans. How do the show’s shower scenes shed light on the classical mind-body problem? How can we make our lives meaningful when our options are curtailed by authority? What does it mean to manipulate someone, and why is it bad? What can we learn about the peculiarity of human beliefs from Pennsatucky’s notion of the gay agenda? Is Litchfield Prison a preparation for life outside—or just a scale model of life outside? What could the governors of Litchfield learn from Jeremy Bentham and his panopticon? How is it that even in prison we find ourselves condemned to be free? Why is one of the worst things about prison being forced to see who and what we really are? It so happens that life in prison is absolutely full and overfull of philosophical implications. Orange Is the New Black and Philosophy stays close to the characters and scenes of the TV show, applying insights from ethics, existentialism, metaphysics, epistemology, and political philosophy. The book is aimed at thoughtful fans of this amazingly fine TV show, who want to learn more about its disturbing issues.