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Batman and Philosophy

The Dark Knight of the Soul

Robert Arp (Hrsg.), Mark D. White (Hrsg.)

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Allgemeines, Lexika


Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker and end everyone'smisery? Can we hold the Joker morally responsible for his actions? Is Batman better than Superman? If everyone followed Batman's example, would Gotham be a better place? What is the Tao of the Bat? Batman is one of the most complex characters ever to appear incomic books, graphic novels, and on the big screen. Whatphilosophical trials does this superhero confront in order to keepGotham safe? Combing through seventy years of comic books,television shows, and movies, Batman and Philosophy explores howthe Dark Knight grapples with ethical conundrums, moralresponsibility, his identity crisis, the moral weight he carries toavenge his murdered parents, and much more. How does this capedcrusader measure up against the teachings of Plato, Aristotle,Kant, Kierkegaard, and Lao Tzu?


contributor Christopher M. Drohan actually gets close to the archetypal sources that keep the serialized exploits of Batman and other comic heroes from getting stale. Unfortunately, most of these essays get old fast. (July) (Publishers Weekly, July 28, 2008)
In this, the latest in Wiley's Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series (South Park and Philosophy, The Office and..., Metallica and...), editors White and Arp assert upfront, and without qualification (apparently, that's the contributors' job), their belief that Batman is "the most complex character ever to appear in comic books and graphic novels." Exploring certain works that have broadened the philosophical undercurrents of the Batman mythos (Frank Miller's Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns are cited often, but rarely the new movies), a raft of professors, students and PhD candidates paint Bruce Wayne's choices as, most often, either utilitarian or deontological, with basic descriptions of these systems helpfully provided for the novice. A few contributions broaden the discussion beyond the well-worn (origin stories of Batman and foes, etc.); casting butler Alfred as Kierkegaard's "knight of faith" to Batman's "knight of infinite resignation,"
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Wissenschaft, Philosophie, Philosophy