The Simpsons & Philosophy: The D'oh of Homer
Edited by William Irwin, et. al. (Open Court, 299 pp., $17.95, Paper (Orig.), 0812694333)
"Marge's underlying moral philosophy may share much in common with that of the great ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle."
"Perhaps then, we can define the richness of a Simpsons text as a matter of openness to connotation, an openness to the allure of free-floating signifiers that coalesce and disperse apparently randomly, 'data,' as Barthes puts it, 'seemingly lost in the natural flow of discourse.'"
These two quotes come from the incisive, provocative, and entertaining (how often can you say that about a philosophy text?) collection that reflects on some of the connections between philosophy and The Simpsons. As anyone who has watched the show can tell you, The Simpsons is one of the most intelligent and perceptive television shows in recent years, brilliantly satirizing contemporary American society. Yet what, if anything, does it have to do with philosophy? The contributors to this volume, who are all philosophy professors and fans of The Simpsons, demonstrate that the sophistication and layers of meaning found in The Simpsons engage in legitimate philosophical issues. The contributors to The Simpsons and Philosophy strike the right balance between taking The Simpsons seriously and not taking themselves too seriously, offering a collection that is perfect for those interested in philosophy and the moral world of Springfield.
Essays include: "Homer and Aristotle," "Thus Spake Bart: On Nietzsche and the Virtues of Being Bad," "Simpsonian Sexual Politics," "The Moral World of the Simpson Family: A Kantian Perspective," "Enjoying the so-called 'Iced Cream': Mr. Burns, Satan, and Happiness," "Hey-diddily-ho, Neighboreenos: Ned Flanders and Neighborly Love," "'And the Rest Writes Itself': Roland Barthes Watches The Simpsons"