Balderdash and chicanery: Science and beyond

In James South (ed.), Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale. Open Court. pp. 79-90 (2003)
The status and limits of science are the focus of urgent public debate. This paper contributes a philosophical analysis of representations of science and the supernatural in popular culture. It explores and critiques a threefold taxonomy of supernatural narratives: (1) reduction of the supernatural to contemporary science; (2) reduction to a `future science' methodologically continuous with contemporary science; (3) the supernatural as irreducible. The means by which the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer adroitly negotiates the borderlines between these narratives is related to the `science wars', the two cultures debate, and the ancients vs. moderns dispute.
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