Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul

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Mark D. White, William Irwin, Robert Arp
John Wiley & Sons, Jun 23, 2008 - Philosophy - 294 pages
10 Reviews

Why doesn't Batman just kill the Joker and end everyone's misery?

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 in comic books, graphic novels, and on the big screen. What philosophical trials does this superhero confront in order to keep Gotham safe? Combing through seventy years of comic books, television shows, and movies, Batman and Philosophy explores how the Dark Knight grapples with ethical conundrums, moral responsibility, his identity crisis, the moral weight he carries to avenge his murdered parents, and much more. How does this caped crusader measure up against the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Lao Tzu?

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 9inchsnails - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this. There were high points and low points; the piece on Batman's Nietzschean self-creation bordered on ridiculous, but Tony Spanakos' article "Governing Gotham" was brilliant. All-in-all, this was a lot more in-depth and thought-provoking than I was expecting. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aadyer - LibraryThing

Excellent overview & there are some brilliant essays in this, making this surprisingly accessible at times. There are some duff efforts and there are some mediocre efforts but these are few & far ... Read full review

Contents

Why Doesnt Batman Kill the Joker?
5
Is It Right to Make a Robin?
17
Batmans Virtuous Hatred
28
PART
39
Governing Gotham
55
Can We Hold the Clown
70
PART THREE
83
Should Bruce Wayne Have Become Batman?
101
Batmans Identity Crisis and Wittgensteins
156
What Is It Like to Be a Batman?
167
PART FIVE
181
Dark Nights and the Call of Conscience
198
Batmans Confrontation with Death Angst
212
PART
225
Worlds Finest Friends? Batman
239
Aristotle
254

What Would Batman Do? Bruce Wayne
114
PART FOUR
127
Could Batman Have Been the Joker?
142

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About the author (2008)

MARK D. WHITE is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy at the College of Staten Island/CUNY.

ROBERT ARP is a postdoctoral research associate through the National Center for Biomedical Ontology at the University at Buffalo, and edited South Park and Philosophy.

WILLIAM IRWIN is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and pop culture gentre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles, including Watchmen and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy.

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