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Explore the philosophical depths of Batman, Superman, Captain America, and your other favorite superheroes—FOR FREE!Behind the cool costumes, special powers, and unflagging determination to fight evil you’ll find fascinating philosophical questions and concerns deep in the hearts and minds of your favorite comic book heroes.Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker and end evExplore the philosophical depths of Batman, Superman, Captain America, and your other favorite superheroes—FOR FREE!Behind the cool costumes, special powers, and unflagging determination to fight evil you’ll find fascinating philosophical questions and concerns deep in the hearts and minds of your favorite comic book heroes.Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker and end everyone's misery? Does Peter Parker have a good life? What can Iron Man teach us about the role of technology in society? Bringing together key chapters from books in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, this free superhero sampler engages the intellectual might of big thinkers like Aristotle and Kant to answer these questions and many others, giving you new insights on everything from whether Superman is truly an American icon to whether Wolverine is the same person when he loses his memory.Features exclusive bonus content: all-new chapters on Captain America and ThorGives you a sneak peek at upcoming books: Avengers and Philosophy, Spider-Man and Philosophy, and Superman and PhilosophyIncludes superheroes from both the DC and Marvel universes: the Avengers, Batman, Captain America, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Superman, Thor, Watchmen, and the X-MenGives you a perfect introduction to the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series Whether you're looking for answers or looking for fun, this classic compilation will save the day by helping you gain a deeper appreciation of your favorite comics with an introduction to basic philosophical principles....

Title : superheroes the best of philosophy and pop culture
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 12062102
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 157 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

superheroes the best of philosophy and pop culture Reviews

  • Luffy
    2018-11-30 15:31

    The lowest score is the perfect score for this potboiler of a sham book and I really hate myself for thinking this was going to be any good. I have always prided myself of not buy self help books, however low I got to be in the past. But this book is on that level. For example, it tries to justifies, through Philosophy, why Batman is right not to kill the Joker, ever, even if it means endangering lives of more people. What utter rubbish.

  • Daniel Shields
    2018-12-12 15:43

    It's a light simple and interesting read. Nothing groundbreaking but it's a fun little read that offers some interesting perspectives on some of the more A-List heroes. I've wasted more time reading a lot worse. 3 Stars for the fact it killed time, didn't make me feel like I was wasting time, nor did I feel like my time was being benefited from really reading it.

  • Jimmy
    2018-11-25 15:01

    This is a neat kindle book put out by the publishers Blackwell. I typically think of their academic books that they published but apparently they have a series on Philosophy and Pop Culture. In this book various contributors explore how superheroes are complex characters that have become the myths of our times. In the introduction the book notes that while philosophers specialize in nuance articulation of philosophy often those who are unfamiliar with the more technical expression of philosophy “gets” their philosophy through the more familiar medium of movies, comics, music and video games. This is a good book for those not as familiar with philosophy to see how philosophy is put in action; it is also a good book for those who are naïve not to see that there are worldview undercurrents in popular culture and entertainment to see that comics and films about superhero are not “value-free” or done in a vacuum apart from a worldview. I think those who do enjoy philosophy will also find this book interesting in showing examples of various philosophy and isms displayed in the comics. I think the book is insightful. For instance I enjoyed the discussion about Captain America and the virtue of humility. I especially enjoyed the chapter on the discussion of why Batman doesn’t kill Joker. I admit it has also made me wanting more and seeing some of the discussion has made me see how various philosophies are inadequate; but to the end that this book is an exploration of philosophies and superheroes this book accomplished it’s goal.

  • Kirstine
    2018-12-12 12:35

    When I first saw the title of the book, I couldn't believe my eyes. There are few things I love more than superheroes, and one of those is philosophy. So to say that this was the perfect book for me, is a slight underestimation (and on top of that it was FREE, halleluja).It didn't disappoint me either. I know how exhaustingly difficult it can be to wrap ones head around various philosophical ideas and theories, but William Irwin does an excellent job at keeping it on a level you understand. It's surprising how much more sense philosophy can suddenly make, just by being compared to your favourite superheroes. I loved the idea, and am happy to say it worked out very well. The essays are never too long, and of course that means what you get is not a particularly in-depth view of whatever philosophy he's presenting, but that's alright. This book is not meant as an thorough explanation of anything, instead it gives you brief, reasonable glimpses into both the world of superheroes and philosophy combined. And it gives you enough of both to (hopefully) make you want more. I study philosophy at my university, and I enjoyed this book immensely. Some of it I already knew, and some of it I didn't, either way, having it put into a superhero context was fascinating. If you enjoy those two things as much as I do, please, give it a go.

  • H.L. Reasby
    2018-12-11 13:40

    This was a really fun, surprisingly quick read. Some great insights into our favorite heroes (Captain America, Batman, Spider-Man, and others) are presented and the contributors do a wonderful job of keeping the writing light and easy to understand even as it covers such heavy topics as what it means to be a person.

  • Kerry Fine
    2018-11-28 10:35

    This book is great! I am not a huge comic book fan, but the analogies used here put some of the more complicated questions of philosophy into a context that makes them easier to understand. I admit, I am a bit out of practice when it comes to philosophical thought, so this book was the perfect reintroduction for me.

  • Jade
    2018-11-19 15:40

    For a comic book fan and a philosophy fan that book was super interesting and fun! I really enjoyed the essay on why Batman doesn't kill the Joker or the one on the Green Lanterns. It's not a perfect book and some essays were less good than others but overall a great read.

  • Alan Ryker
    2018-12-10 18:57

    A really fun and thought-provoking read. These people know both their philosophy (as expected) and their comic books (did not expect that). my only complaint is that it focuses too much on ethics at the expense of other philosophical topics.

  • Tiara
    2018-11-26 13:58

    This is my 4th venture into the Pop Culture and Philosophy series. I've previously read Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test, X-Men and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the Mutant X-Verse, and Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul.This book is a culmination of the best essays from various comic related books in the series. A few of these I'd already read in the previously mentioned books, but there were quite a few that I hadn't read. These essays touch on things such modesty, forgiveness, justice--things you'd expect to read about in a philosophy book about superheroes. However, I did like that they also tried to touch on technology (The Stark Madness of Technology), happiness (Does Peter Parker Have A Good Life?), finding the balance between two extremes (The Blackest Night for Aristotle's Account of Emotions), and exceptionalism, specifically American exceptionalism (Is Superman an American Icon?). Many of these essays started off rather "meh..." to me, leaving me wondering at first how this is considered the "best," but they quickly picked up. I think my personal favorite in the book is Captain America and the Virtue of Modesty followed closely by The Blackest Night for Aristotle's Account of Emotions. And while I think most of them did a fair job in stating their case, I could never really understand where one writer was going with The Stark Madness of Technology. But there is always at least on essay in these books that seems to just ramble along with no real destination in my opinion. I would've liked to have seen an essay on the villains. I know this is about the heroes in comics, but you can't have your heroes without your villains. So, I was mildly disappointed that I didn't get at least a Joker essay in this. One thing I love about this series is how the writers are able to make philosophy understandable for the layperson. Concepts and ideas that can boggle people are explained in easy to understand terms, breaking it down into the simplest examples and ideas, even if you're not into philosophy. No, this is not a perfect book and many things will still be a little beyond the grasp of some people, but I think they mostly do a very good job with making this series inclusive of philosophers and non-philosophers alike. I was able to snag this in ebook format on Amazon they featured it as one of their free books deal, and as of this writing, it's still a free ebook. If you've read most of the comic related books in this series, this is skippable since it pulls from those sources. If you're looking to get your feet wet with this series, this is a decent place to start.

  • Bufo Calvin
    2018-11-23 14:37

    I'm not sure which the average person finds more frivolous: comic books or philosophy. ;)The truth, though, is that we are probably influenced more by both than we realize.Maybe you don't call it philosophy when you debate the merits of what somebody in the news did, or simply say, "That's not right," but that's really what it is.One of my literary heroes, Doc Savage, has had a great influence in making me a better person. Even though the Doc Savage oath wasn't part of the original stories, I've tried to "...make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it."Doc is not addressed in "Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture", but many others are. The average person will know some of them, although certainly not all the twists and turns in the story lines used as demonstration of classical philosophical points.I think a stand-out essay (and that's what this book is...a collection of essays) poses a simple question: "Why doesn't Batman kill The Joker?"Your immediate response might be, "Because Batman doesn't kill people."Ah, but that's where it gets interesting. Should the Dark Knight kill people?The Joker has shown no evidence that reform is going to happen. I thought Heath Ledger's performance did a brilliant job of showing The Joker's world view. This is my own interpretation of it, but I saw it as, "Prove to me that the world is not a bad place. If it is, and if I do bad things, something will stop me. If nothing stops me, I'll keep doing worse and worse things...not because I want to do it, but so that it can be proven that I can't do it and get away with it."Mark D. White sets it up this way: if Batman knows that The Joker is likely to get out and kill again (and has done so in the past), why isn't it moral for Batman to kill The Joker to prevent the deaths of innocents?If you are champing at the bit to argue that point (from either side), than I think you'll enjoy this book.I've read a couple of other books like this, that take what is often considered ephemera and examine it very deeply.There tends to be a problem with those.You can't do it without spoilers...and almost nobody is so familiar with the canon to follow what you are saying.Fans (or fen, if you are really geeky) of the original Star Trek can certainly argue over every tiny point amongst themselves. When you try to broaden that by bringing in outsiders, they simply aren't going to grasp the significance of tal-shaya, so it isn't going to help if you compare it to an even more obscure real world element.So, either you read every issue of Captain America ever written before you read the (very intriguing) essay on Cap and humility, or you just accept that some comics are going to be spoiled for you by it...and that you'll have to often take the author's word for what they say happened.If you do know these character inside and out, or don't think you ever will, the book is a worthwhile mind-stretching read...even if you may not find it really engaging.

  • Nadyne
    2018-11-24 14:57

    First sentence: "Philosophy can change your life, but it may take a superhero for you to realize it."P. 99: "Perhaps the most surprising emotion that one might advocate as the proper impetus for action is avaris."Last sentence: "In the X-Verse we should be less dubious of Emma Frost working with the X-Men; the less catlike Beast should question whether, even if the secondary mutation were reversed, he would be the character they miss; and the next time Jean Grey comes back from the dead, we should all stop complaining that she seems different from before."Synopsis (Amazon): "Behind the cool costumes, special powers, and unflagging determination to fight evil you’ll find fascinating philosophical questions and concerns deep in the hearts and minds of your favorite comic book heroes. Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker and end everyone's misery? Does Peter Parker have a good life? What can Iron Man teach us about the role of technology in society? Bringing together key chapters from books in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, this free superhero sampler engages the intellectual might of big thinkers like Aristotle and Kant to answer these questions and many others, giving you new insights on everything from whether Superman is truly an American icon to whether Wolverine is the same person when he loses his memory. Whether you're looking for answers or looking for fun, this classic compilation will save the day by helping you gain a deeper appreciation of your favorite comics with an introduction to basic philosophical principles."I downloaded this book for free from Amazon, although I didn't expect much of it. But it was a pleasant surprise. By using popular comics with so-called superheroes, like Batman and Superman, the authors try to answer questions as: Are Justice and Mercy incompatible? What does it mean to be modest? What is the so-called American Way? What's the difference between a Utilitarian and a Deontologist? Must Evil always be punished? How can Evil be forgiven?....You don't have to be familiar with these comics (I haven't read any of them), to understand what is talked about. If you do love comics and you have an interest in philosophy talked about in an easygoing way, then this book is for you.

  • Matthew
    2018-12-14 18:44

    This book is most effective when it shows a comic book character, gives textual examples of that character's consistent ideology, and then surveys the philosophers who founded/explained that particular worldview for the very first time. In these kinds of sections, the comic book and philosophy explorations interweave seamlessly, creating good layers of thought. I would give these sections 4 stars. Other sections of this book (and keep in mind that chapters were written by different authors), do not persuasively connect the comic book and the philosopher. it's as if one becomes the arbitrary excuse to talk about the other, and then it all just feels watered down. Instead of creating layers, it creates really loosely connected lily pads. Not very interesting, blech. I would give these sections 2 stars. A casual/humorous tone is fine and an academic/formal tone is fine but this book seems like an odd, slightly disjointed attempt at both. Is it because the book is a collection of chapters from other books in the series? Is the last section of this book just a sales pitch for the other books? is that why this book was a free download? Hmm But having said all that, I do love how this series will introduce many readers to characters and/or philosophers for the very first time. In that sense it's a great, quick crash-course and I hope readers go look up the philosophies they found interesting. And hey, if forever-after a person can't look at Spiderman without thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas then amen to that!

  • Tom Schulte
    2018-11-29 10:48

    This is free for the Kindle! Anyway, with the Avengers individual movies largely behind us, the group epic less than a year way and so many other superhero flicks: Spider Man, Green Lantern, etc., this is a great read for someone more interested in philosophy than comics, per se. I think The Watchmen was the only comic of any kind I have read in my adult life, but I couldn’t walk about of the Green Lantern movie without referencing the august philosophical work Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Idea. So, I can see the same philosophical wrestling in today’s comic-based films, and I am sure the content is there on printed page, too. (I get the same inclinations watching Eisenhower-era monster flicks, like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Frankenstein, etc.) Regardless of the soundness of this popular art form as a basis, it’s a fun way to consider philosophy from Paul Kurtz to Kant to Aristotle and more. What it makes me wonder, is: Is this life imitating art, or the other way around? That is, do the artists behind these works draw from the same well as philosophers (overtly? Accidentally?), or am I and the author just reading too much into disposable pop art?

  • Tom Schulte
    2018-11-29 16:52

    This is free for the Kindle! Anyway, with the Avengers individual movies largely behind us, the group epic less than a year way and so many other superhero flicks: Spider Man, Green Lantern, etc., this is a great read for someone more interested in philosophy than comics, per se. I think The Watchmen was the only comic of any kind I have read in my adult life, but I couldn’t walk about of the Green Lantern movie without referencing the august philosophical work Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Idea. So, I can see the same philosophical wrestling in today’s comic-based films, and I am sure the content is there on printed page, too. (I get the same inclinations watching Eisenhower-era monster flicks, like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Frankenstein, etc.) Regardless of the soundness of this popular art form as a basis, it’s a fun way to consider philosophy from Paul Kurtz to Kant to Aristotle and more. What it makes me wonder, is: Is this life imitating art, or the other way around? That is, do the artists behind these works draw from the same well as philosophers (overtly? Accidentally?), or am I and the author just reading too much into disposable pop art?

  • Mscout
    2018-11-13 15:32

    Building on a growing trend of "Philosophy and..." books that run the gamut of pop cultures, Superheroes is a great way to introduce people to philosophy, especially those who might not be otherwise inclined. A series of essays, the work covers both the Marvel and DC universes as well as philosophers from Plato through to Derek Parfit (b. 1942). It would be easy to dismiss this series as nothing more than philosophical fluff dumbed-down for the masses, but I think one would be missing something to do so. As William Irwin states in the Introduction, "Ultimately, this book aims to shed light on the hidden depth of superheroes, while at the same time illustrate the importance of philosophy. Superman and Batman are not replacements for Plato and Aristotle, but they can inspire you to read Plato and Aristotle, who will challenge you to think deeply." And after all, isn't that what we ask of any good book?

  • T.L. Barrett
    2018-12-13 16:46

    I loved, loved, loved this book! Reading this was like having a group of fellow comic fans and philosophers over for a very long and exciting discussion. I devoured this. If you want to look differently at the world and at your favorite comic characters, then this is the book for you. I realize that this is a hook for people to get into the series with examples from different works, but I have to say, one of my favorites was unique to this volume (Captain America and the Virtue of Modesty). I put off reading this because I thought it would be just a gimmicky waste of time. Man, was I wrong. I'm hooked, and will be looking forward to reading more books in this incredible series. Comic book superheroes were my personal mythos as a kid and they are modern America's. It is nigh time serious thought went into deciphering what philosophies are espoused by the culture that so adores these stories. If you have a kindle, download today!

  • Melanie
    2018-11-19 14:40

    The one thing that I really liked about this book is how it captures the essence of what really matters in superheroes comics. More than the pretty graphics and the whole justice conversation, this Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture actually highlights the moral questions that comes with being a superhero. It's not just about having powers and means to do justice, it's about defining justice and measuring how you can do what's right causing the minimal possible damage. It's nice and refreshing to see the heroes of our infancy being treated "seriously" once in a while.The book is really pleasant to read, you will skim through its pages without even noticing it. It did feel like it could have included a lot more heroes though. I also felt that the ending was rushed up and inconclusive and... well, honesty, the Wolverine analysis was quite poor compared to the previous analysis.Nevertheless, definitely worth a couple of hours of your life.

  • Amy
    2018-12-09 14:00

    Although I generally approach texts with the word "philosophy" in the title with some trepidation, I quite enjoyed this book. It offered the reader some insights into the major tenets of major philosophers by using superheroes as models. The Green Lantern stories embody Aristotle's theory of morality as a balance of emotion and reason. Why doesn't Batman kill the Joker? Because, according to deontologists, the act must always be justifiable on its own merits, and if we accept that killing is wrong, then killing is wrong, period -- even if it's the Joker getting killed. Daniel P. Malloy's chapter on forgiveness was amazing, and gave me so much food for thought that I won't even try to summarize it. The book overall was quirky and funny, and also quite useful. Not a bad combination, that.

  • Jeremiah Noe
    2018-11-14 12:58

    heavy...but not too heavydespite the 5 stars i've given this, I hesitate to recommend this. if you want pure entertainment and you are looking at this book because of your interest in comics, this book is not for you. it is a philosophy book. comics are simply the lens through which the philosophical questions are viewed. if your interest is philosophy and you have none in comics, this book is not for you. it deals with deep philosophical questions, to be sure, but there's nothing new here. if you've read aquinas, aristotle, locke, kant, etc., you've seen all this before, and in greater depth. this book is for new recruits to philosophy, who also have an interest in comics. a very small group of people.

  • Dennis Schvejda
    2018-11-23 19:01

    This free Kindle book served as an introduction to the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, books I've been meaning to check out. The concept of using pop culture as a springboard to philosophical questions continues a long tradition..."Philosophers of old understood this and came up with their own memorable examples to illustrate their theories, from Plato’s (428–348 BCE) allegory of the cave to Descartes’ (1596–1650) evil deceiver and beyond. In this book, we continue that long tradition by using examples from the realm of superheroes."I enjoy reading philosophical works, and I found this book to be both informative and an easy read. There are about 30 books in this series, perhaps I'll read "Lost" next.

  • Leo Polovets
    2018-12-04 15:39

    I don’t read comic books, but this title sounded like a very fun read. Sadly, I couldn’t finish this book. I read the first chapter and skimmed a few more, but couldn’t continue because of a glaring problem: the book assumes you are intimately familiar with various superhero stories. Here are a few sample sentences from a chapter on Thor: “Indeed, when Odin deliberates on Thor’s punishment, he is advised by no less than Seidring the Merciless, who reminds him that ‘justice is justice.’ Odin decides to take half of Thor’s strength — while he’s battling Hercules — at which even Seidring (the Merciless, remember) balks, but the All-Father is firm.” Uh, what? I watched Thor several times, so I’m one step up from a complete layman, but I have no idea what the author is talking about.

  • Christian
    2018-11-13 17:59

    I've been intrigued by the prolific Philosophy and Pop Culture series, so I was excited to get this sampler of essays on superheroes from various volumes (with two new essays). Essentially, each essay picks a comic-book superhero as a jumping-off point for brief intro to philosophy lecture on a particular topic. For example, Thor's conflicts with his judgmental father Odin occasions a discussion of the conflict between justice and mercy. Wolverine's unfortunate history of having his memory periodically wiped opens the question of the relationship between memory and identity. The essays don't really offer much insight into the comics, but I found the discussions of philosophy interesting.

  • Maria
    2018-12-04 16:47

    I liked the idea of focusing on the philosophical aspect in connection to superheroes. Promising though as the title was, I was not amused of the writing. The writers need to make 'funny' comments didn't really get to me. Then there was the appologizings and promises that it would not happen again... Which it did. How about just drop it all over. I guess I felt the book was to personal than I would've liked. It did though give me a new way to look at the superheroes mentioned (not that all stories were familiar to me) but also to take new it further. Two and a half star from me.

  • Amanda
    2018-11-16 17:55

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It assumes no knowledge of either comics or philosophy on the part of the reader, a fact that I especially appreciated. However, that doesn't mean they talk down to the reader. Everything is explained, analyzed, and related to real-world situations through the use of superheroes and other bits of pop culture. Each essay's footnotes are detailed and offer other resources for further reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys philosophy or comics or both.

  • Adam Graham
    2018-11-14 15:48

    What are the deep implications of Superhero comics? This book has some answers. In reality, it's a sampler for a series of books on various superhero books on philosophies. Most of the articles are fairly engaging (except for the Iron Man one which was rather dry and without a lot of comic book details.) The authors make their heroes relevant philosophical issues for heroes such as Batman, Captain America, and others. While I'm not big into philosophy I did enjoy the book.

  • Bandit
    2018-11-30 12:56

    I think this technique should be utilized more. As a huge fan of superheroes and someone with more than a passing interest in philosophy, I love the way this book works. A variety of authors write an essay on a different philosophical concept using a superhero of their choice. The results are enlightening as well as entertaining and most of the writers are surprisingly or unexpectedly funny, which makes the reading ever easier. Makes one think...and want to read more comics. Recommended.

  • Matt
    2018-12-02 13:59

    An interesting overview of many philosophical ideas and important people in the field, using superheroes as an excellent reference point for people who have trouble with academic texts while still maintaining the air of legitimate authority in the field, it is a great introduction for those new to philosophy and provides interesting insight into those who are more well read. overall the book was really effective, very interesting, and easy to read.

  • CaedyEries
    2018-12-05 17:31

    Enjoying this book so far, having explored the philosophical areas concerning Superman, The Green Lantern, Odin and Thor, and Captain America, with several others still to come. Covering philosophical areas such as justice and punishment, mercy, virtue of modesty, Aristotle's account for emotions, and Superman as an American Icon.

  • Amy Jones
    2018-12-11 14:46

    I do love the Pop Culture philosophy series, and this is a great introduction for people who aren't sure they're going to like it.I downloaded it for free from the Kindle store and it has a good overview of topics — it definitely picked the best articles from the Pop Culture philosophy series. I recommend it.

  • Nathan Langford
    2018-11-29 16:33

    Interesting. While simply written, it is succinct for what it covers. Good tool to open philosophical thinking to minds that are heavily exposed to pop culture or 'nerdy things'. Also a good business move to get people to consider buying the really 'meaty' books of the series and for teachers to consider thinking about using 'superheroes' in philosophy classes or group discussions.