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The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke

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Overview

A lighthearted meditation on the philosophical quandaries of the hit television show The Big Bang Theory

Ever wonder what Aristotle might say about the life Sheldon Cooper leads? Why Thomas Hobbes would applaud the roommate agreement? Who Immanuel Kant would treat with "haughty derision" for weaving "un-unravelable webs?" And—most importantly—whether Wil Wheaton is truly evil? Of course you have. Bazinga!

This book mines the deep thinking of ...

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Overview

A lighthearted meditation on the philosophical quandaries of the hit television show The Big Bang Theory

Ever wonder what Aristotle might say about the life Sheldon Cooper leads? Why Thomas Hobbes would applaud the roommate agreement? Who Immanuel Kant would treat with "haughty derision" for weaving "un-unravelable webs?" And—most importantly—whether Wil Wheaton is truly evil? Of course you have. Bazinga!

This book mines the deep thinking of some of history's most potent philosophical minds to explore your most pressing questions about The Big Bang Theory and its nerdy genius characters. You might find other philosophy books on science and cosmology, but only this one refers to Darth Vader Force-chokes, cloning Leonard Nimoy, and oompa-loompa-like engineers. Fo-shizzle.

  • Gives you irresistibly geek-worthy insights on your favorite Big Bang Theory characters, story lines, and ideas
  • Examines important themes involving ethics and virtue, science, semiotics, religion, and the human condition
  • Brings the thinking of some of the world's greatest philosophers to bear on The Big Bang Theory, from Aristotle and Plato to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Simone de Beauvoir, and more

Essential reading for every Big Bang Theory fan, this book explores whether comic-book-wielding geeks can lead the good life, and whether they can know enough science to "tear the mask off nature and stare at the face of God."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The Big Bang Theory and the Blackwell Philosophy of Culture series make a perfect match, although the main character in the hit show would insist that the book be called Dr. Sheldon Cooper and Philosophy. Certainly, this indefatigable physicist qualifies on several levels as a deep thinker. Who among us except a philosopher, indeed, would say, "I don't need sleep, I need answers. I need to determine where in this swamp of unbalanced formulas squateth the toad of truth." And like a true Aristotelian, Sheldon devotes himself to discovering the algorithm of friendship, the nature of time, and the rudiments of truth and lying. Quite logically then, he occupies a prominent place in several of these inquisitive essays on science, language, technology, abnormal psychology, and other subjects. Not that other characters and other issues are neglected. Leonard, Penny, Amy, Bernadette, Howard, Raj, and, yes, even Wil Wheaton and Kripke emerge philosophically, as do string theory, mother-child relations, and gender relations. Reading this book probably won't win you a date with Summer Glau, but it will raise your Super Geek IQ.

From the Publisher
“If you’re looking for a straight discussion of philosophy try reading Frederick Copleston’s The History of Philosophy, but if you’re open to learning in a fun environment try this book. Just remember that this book is first of all a study of philosophy geared to the non-specialist. The by-product of the book is that you will deepen your understanding of and engagement with the characters in these shows.” (Ponderings on a Faith Journey, 10 August 2012)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118074558
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Series: Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series , #44
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 84,966
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean A. Kowalski is an associate professor of philosophy at University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and the author of five books, most recently Moral Theory at the Movies and The Philosophy of Joss Whedon.

William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including House and Philosophy, Batman and Philosophy, and Inception and Philosophy.

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix

INTRODUCTION: “Unraveling the Mysteries” 1

PART ONE “IT ALL BEGAN ON A WARM SUMMER’S EVENING IN GREECE”: ARISTOTELIAN INSIGHTS

1 Aristotle on Sheldon Cooper: Ancient Greek Meets Modern Geek 7
Greg Littmann

2 “You’re a Sucky, Sucky Friend”: Seeking Aristotelian Friendship in The Big Bang Theory 21
Dean A. Kowalski

3 The Big Bang Theory on the Use and Abuse of Modern Technology 35
Kenneth Wayne Sayles III

PART TWO “IS IT WRONG TO SAY I LOVE OUR KILLER ROBOT?”: ETHICS AND VIRTUE

4 Feeling Bad about Feeling Good: Is It Morally Wrong to Laugh at Sheldon? 51
W. Scott Clifton

5 . . . But Is Wil Wheaton Evil? 65
Donna Marie Smith

6 Do We Need a Roommate Agreement?: Pleasure, Selfi shness, and Virtue in The Big Bang Theory 80
Gregory L. Bock and Jeffrey L. Bock

PART THREE “PERHAPS YOU MEAN A DIFFERENT THING THAN I DO WHEN YOU SAY ‘SCIENCE’”: SCIENCE, SCIENTISM, AND RELIGION

7 Getting Fundamental about Doing Physics in The Big Bang Theory 99
Jonathan Lawhead

8 Sheldon, Leonard, and Leslie: The Three Faces of Quantum Gravity 112
Andrew Zimmerman Jones

9 The One Paradigm to Rule Them All: Scientism and The Big Bang Theory 128
Massimo Pigliucci

10 Cooper Considerations: Science, Religion, and Family 144
Adam Barkman and Dean A. Kowalski

PART FOUR “I NEED YOUR OPINION ON A MATTER OF SEMIOTICS”: LANGUAGE AND MEANING

11 Wittgenstein and Language Games in The Big Bang Theory 161
Janelle Pötzsch

12 “I’m Afraid You Couldn’t Be More Wrong!”: Sheldon and Being Right about Being Wrong 175
Adolfas Mackonis

13 The Cooper Conundrum: Good Lord, Who’s Tolerating Whom? 189
Ruth E. Lowe

14 The Mendacity Bifurcation 203
Don Fallis

PART FIVE “THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE THAT HAS ALWAYS ELUDED ME”: THE HUMAN CONDITION

15 Mothers and Sons of The Big Bang Theory 219
Ashley Barkman

16 Penny, Sheldon, and Personal Growth through Difference 233
Nicholas G. Evans

17 Deconstructing the Women of The Big Bang Theory: So Much More Than Girlfriends 244
Mark D. White and Maryanne L. Fisher

THE EPISODE COMPENDIUM: “Hey, It’s a Big Menu—There’s Two Pages Just for Desserts” 257

CONTRIBUTORS: “But If We Were Part of the Team . . . We Could Drink for Free in Any Bar in Any College Town” 261

INDEX: “Cornucopia . . . Let’s Make That Our Word of the Day” 267

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2012

    This is a wonderful book! The way the authors make connections b

    This is a wonderful book! The way the authors make connections between the philosophers' statements of so long ago, specifically Aristotle, and the relationships and antics of the BBT characters is phenomenal. We might not always understand the information from the scholars of long ago but when connections are made for us based on the things we know and love it is so much easier to understand. If you are a fan of the Big Bang Theory, Ii truly believe you will enjoy this book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    To the third commenter and overall review

    To the person who posted the third commment, if you got nothing nice to say or type to anyone then don't. Also, does anyone care that you think the last reveiw is too long? NO, so do not post that crap.

    Overall, I liked the book. It told you what you might be curius about. Just more for those who are curius about the show or ard confused. I like the show and the book. Five out of five from me. Sheldon rocks, BAZZINGA PUNK,( JUST A JOKE DO NOT BE OFFENDED).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2014

    Make it free

    Make it fe
    Re

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    Great

    Great all aroud book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Hi

    Big fan love the show short and simple. BOOM!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Bazinga punk now were even

    Hi im chloe. I just have some episodes id like to share. Number 1. The episode when everyone is pulling pranks on sheldon. I like it at the beggining. It has Howards'(Howard is the cute guy in the skinny jeans) whtever it is engineer stuff and Cootherpollys' (Raj,the one who doesn't talk to girls unless he has a beer in his hand.) Are pulling pranks on Sheldon. And number two. When he needs his licence. So fu**ing funny!!3

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Sheldon

    Sheldon is gay!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Penny

    Sit i her apartment.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Good book for a fan

    I love the big bang theory!!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    The longer the better

    I think that the first review was not long at all and quite informative!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    The person who wrote the last comment...

    TOO FREAKIN LONG..... I HAVENT READ THE BOOK YET AND I THINK YOU COMMENT IS TOO LONG!!!!

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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