Narrator Ron Howard tells us that Arrested Development is the “story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.” The cult-classic follows Michael Bluth – the middle son of an inept, philandering, corrupt real-estate developer, George Bluth Sr., who is arrested for white-collar crimes. Constantly faced with crises created by his eccentric family, Michael does his best to preserve the family business, put out fires, and serve as (...) a role model for his teenage son, George Michael. The Bluths’ misadventures raise the question, what, if anything, do adult children owe their parents? This chapter explores the relationships between the members of the Bluth family and argues that Arrested Development makes the case that, insofar as adult children “owe” their parents anything, such an obligation is grounded in a sense of friendship – a voluntarily entered relation that can be terminated at any time. As a result, Arrested Development challenges the often-unquestioned assumption that children owe their parents special consideration simply in virtue of the parent-child relationship. (shrink)
Philosophers sometimes wonder whether academic work can ever be truly interdisciplinary. Whether true interdisciplinarity is possible is an open question, but given current trends in higher education, it seems that at least gesturing toward such work is increasingly important. This volume serves as a testament to the fact that such work can be done. Of course, while it is the case that high-level theoretical work can flourish at the intersection of dance and philosophy, it remains to be seen how we (...) might share this with undergraduate students. For many of us in philosophy and dance, a large number of the students we teach are neither philosophy nor dance majors. As such, we are familiar with the challenge of convincing our students to care about our fields. Both philosophy and dance, qua disciplines on a college campus, face similar challenges. These disciplines are often deeply misunderstood, frequently presumed to be “impractical” (a powerful, but confused objection), intimidating, and frivolous. In this chapter, we offer an account of the course we co-taught at Southern Utah University in the Spring of 2016 titled “Movement and Space” as a rough framework for how to introduce the intersection between philosophy and dance to students. We simultaneously attempted to break students of their misconceptions about philosophy and dance, and worked to engage students and professors alike in a truly interdisciplinary educational experience. Treating philosophy as an embodied endeavor, and employing philosophical concepts through the act of dance encouraged students and faculty alike to rethink the fundamental nature of aesthetics. (shrink)
In this chapter we discuss the role of what we call "reasonableness" in a philosophy summer camp held at Southern Utah University. "Reasonableness," as we call it, is a more narrowly prescribed form of rationality - indeed one can be rational but unreasonable, but not the other way around. We discuss the importance and value of introducing philosophy to students before they get to college, and describe some of the challenges we face in introducing students in SW Utah to philosophy.
A central theme in the scholarly literature on Enlightenment Europe concerns the increased focus on the role of reason in the development of European thought, especially in the development of the new science by the natural philosophers. As a consequence, there is a tendency in both philosophical scholarship and teaching to bind philosophy and science tightly together. While there is certainly much that is correct in this approach, one motivation for pluralizing philosophy’s past is that this story leaves out a (...) great deal that is important in Enlightenment views of reason. We argue, using as an example the work of figures like Margaret Cavendish, that reason was significantly broader in scope—and that developments in science were paralleled by equally important advances in music, art, literature, medicine, philosophy, and other areas. In recognizing the lack of a sharp boundary between these areas, an inclusive canon of Enlightenment philosophy gives us this richer notion of reason. Integrating figures such as Cavendish into the canon helps us to see that the narrow focus on the scientific version of reason within Enlightenment scholarship creates a false distinction between science and the humanities and misses out on the humanistic ends for which we engage in philosophy. (shrink)
As an introduction to philosophy for wrestling fans, Philosophy Smackdown is a fun, engaging, thought provoking, and all-around lively introduction to big-picture questions in philosophy. Keeping in line with popular philosophy texts, Edwards introduces, in an eminently accessible way, questions that philosophers have discussed for as long as the discipline has existed. The book is broken up into six chapters, each touching on core themes in philosophy: (1) Reality, (2) Freedom, (3) Identity, (4) Morality, (5) Justice, and (6) Meaning. The (...) book concludes with a “dark match” pitting philosophy against the spectacle of professional wrestling. Edwards explores the ways philosophers can learn from professional wrestling and uses professional wrestling to illustrate to newcomers how philosophy should be done. Utilizing his passion for, and knowledge of, wrestling and its history, Edwards illustrates perennial philosophical problems. At times, however, he gets almost too caught up in the wrestling side, making some of the chapters feel uneven. (shrink)
This paper serves as a call to philosophers both to create more precollege philosophy programs, and to push back against the instrumentalization of the value of philosophy. I do not intend to defend the intrinsic value of philosophy in this paper, though in an indirect way I will offer a defense of the value of precollege philosophy. I discuss the history, theory and practice behind the Utah Lyceum, a precollege philosophy summer camp program I helped create in rural Utah. I (...) argue that philosophy summer camps such as the Lyceum are in a unique position to push back against the increasing vocationalization of education by building a curriculum on what I call “reasonableness.” In short, reasonableness is a form of rationality that necessarily includes a social component. Focusing on this social aspect, I distinguish three levels at which philosophical dialogue occurs: interpersonally, intratextually, and intertextually. I argue that by employing this distinction we can facilitate better philosophical dialogue and better aid our students in becoming reasonable. (shrink)
_A smart philosophical look at the cult hit television show, _Arrested Development__ _Arrested Development_ earned six Emmy awards, a Golden Globe award, critical acclaim, and a loyal cult following—and then it was canceled. Fortunately, this book steps into the void left by the show's premature demise by exploring the fascinating philosophical issues at the heart of the quirky Bluths and their comic exploits. Whether it's reflecting on Gob's self-deception or digging into Tobias's double entendres, you'll watch your favorite scenes and (...) episodes of the show in a whole new way. Takes an entertaining look at the philosophical ideas and tensions in the show's plots and themes Gives you new insights about the Bluth family and other characters: Is George Michael's crush on his cousin unnatural? Is it immoral for Lindsay to lie about stealing clothes to hide the fact that she has a job? Are the pictures really of bunkers or balls? Lets you sound super-smart as you rattle off the names of great philosophers like Sartre and Aristotle to explain key characters and episodes of the show Packed with thought-provoking insights, _Arrested Development and Philosophy_ is essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about their late, lamented TV show. And it'll keep you entertained until the long-awaited _Arrested Development_ movie finally comes out. (shrink)
Using Twin Peaks' Agent Dale Cooper as an example, we explore the paradox of fiction. Employing resources from Aimee Thomasson's account of fictional characters in conjunction with some research on parasocial interaction, we make offer a potential solution for the paradox.
There is something that it is like to be you, and I argue that there is something that it is like to experience the terminology that baristas employ in describing coffee. I argue that there is a world of experiential difference between those in the know and those who are not. Borrowing from David Hume's "Of the Standard of Taste" I argue that while everyone likes what they like, one can still be mistaken in liking something of lower quality.