Amy Schumer and Philosophy: Brainwreck! [EPUB]

Amy Schumer and Philosophy: Brainwreck! [EPUB]
Amy Schumer and Philosophy: Brainwreck (Popular Culture and Philosophy) edited by Charlene Elsby, Rob Luzecky
2018 | EPUB | 0.99MB

Why read a book about Amy Schumer and philosophy? After all, Amy Schumer is primarily known as a comedian, though she is also an actor, writer, and producer. One reason is that it will be enlightening. Amy Schumer is one of a handful of contemporary comedians filling the role of public philosopher. To be clear, Amy herself does not claim to be offering wisdom.

This volume contains seventeen fun-filled chapters. One author makes the case that Amy uses humor to encourage her audience to consider important questions, for example, she does this when she discusses the trial of Bill Cosby while evoking fond memories of The Cosby Show. She essentially asks her audience to consider whether they give priority to unconflicted entertainment over justice for rape victims. In another chapter, the author casts a philosophical eye toward the action-comedy film Snatched and finds that it raises questions about responsibility: Is Schumer’s character, Emily, responsible for getting kidnapped in Ecuador? Is Emily responsible for the death of one of her kidnappers? Another author asks whether Snatched can be a great comedy and still get negative reviews? What is the role of art and who determines whether a work of art is good or beautiful? What do Amy Schumer and Friedrich Nietzsche have in common? Is Amy a “sex comic” or an “issue comic”? With her typical self-deprecating comedic style, Amy makes jokes by highlighting the absurd, the illogical, and the hypocritical in gender relations, notions of masculinity and femininity, and superficial values.

But the main reason to read Amy Schumer and Philosophy is that it a pretty awesome read and laughter will most definitely ensue.

Twin Peaks and Philosophy: That's Damn Fine Philosophy! [EPUB]

Twin Peaks and Philosophy: That's Damn Fine Philosophy! [EPUB]
Twin Peaks and Philosophy: That's Damn Fine Philosophy edited by Richard Greene, Rachel Robison-Greene
2018 | EPUB | 1.24MB
2017 saw the triumphant return of the weird and haunting TV show Twin Peaks, with most of the original cast, after a gap of twenty-five years. Twin Peaks and Philosophy finally answers that puzzling question: What is Twin Peaks really about?

Twin Peaks is about evil in various forms, and poses the question: What’s the worst kind of evil? Can the everyday evil of humans in a small mountain town ever be as evil as the evil of alien supernatural beings? Or is the evil of non-humans actually less threatening because it’s so strange and unaccountable? And does the influence of uncanny forces somehow excuse the crimes committed by regular folks? Some Twin Peaks characters try to confine evil by sticking to their own moral code, as in the cast of Albert Rosenfeld, who refuses to disguise his feelings and upsets everyone by his forthright honesty.

Twin Peaks is about responsibility, both legal and moral. Who is really responsible for the death of Laura Palmer and other murder victims? Although Leland has been revealed as Laura’s actual killer, the show suggests that no one in town was without some responsibility. And was Leland even guilty at all, if he was not in control of his own mind or body?

Twin Peaks is about the quest for self-knowledge and the dangers of that quest, as Agent Cooper keeps learning something new about himself, as well as about the troubled townspeople. The Buddhist Cooper has to confront his own shadow side, culminating in the rite of passage at the Black Lodge, at the end of Season Two.

Twin Peaks is about madness, sanity, the borderline between them, and the necessity of some madness to make sense of sanity. The outwardly super-normal if somewhat eccentric Agent Dale Cooper is the inspired, deranged, and dedicated shaman who seeks the truth by coming to terms with the reality of unreason, partly through his dreams and partly through his existential encounters with giants, logs, outer space, and other unexpected sources. Cooper challenges official law enforcement’s over-reliance on science.

Twin Peaks is about the imagination run wild, moving from metaphysics to pataphysics―the discipline invented by Alfred Jarry, which probes the assumption that anything can happen and discovers the laws governing events which constitute exceptions to all laws.

Scott Adams and Philosophy [EPUB]

Scott Adams and Philosophy [EPUB]
Scott Adams and Philosophy edited by Daniel Yim, Galen Foresman, Robert Arp
2018 | EPUB | 1.95MB

As cartoonist, author, public speaker, blogger, and periscoper, Scott Adams has had best-sellers in several different fields: his Dilbert cartoons, his meditations on the philosophy of Dilbert, his works on how to achieve success in business and all other areas of life, his two remarkable books on religion, and now his controversial work on political persuasion.

Adams’s two most recent best-sellers are How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life (2014) and Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter (2017). Adams predicted Donald Trump’s election victory (on August 13th 2016) and has explained then and more recently how Trump operates as a Master Persuader, using “weapons-grade” persuasive techniques to defeat his opponents and often to stay several moves ahead of them.

Adams has provocative ideas in many areas, for example his outrageous claim that 30 percent of the population have absolutely no sense of humor, and take their cue from conventional opinion in deciding whether something is a joke, since they have no way of deciding this for themselves.

In Scott Adams and Philosophy, an elite cadre of people who think for a living put Scott Adams’s ideas under scrutiny. Every aspect of Adams’s fascinating and infuriating system of ideas is explained and tested.

Among the key topics:

  • Does humor inform us about reality?
  • Do religious extremists know something the rest of us don’t?
  • What are facts and how can they not matter?
  • What happens when confirmation bias meets cognitive dissonance?
  • How can we tell whether President Trump is a genius or just dumb-lucky?
  • Does the Dilbert philosophy discourage the struggle for better workplace conditions?
  • How sound is Adams’s claim that “systems” thinking beats goal-directed thinking?
  • Does Dilbert exhibit a Nietzschean or a Kierkegaardian sense of life? Or is it Sisyphian in Camus’s sense?
  • Can truth be over-rated?
  • “The political side that is out of power is the side that hallucinates the most.”
  • If there’s a serious chance we’re living in a Matrix-type simulation, how should we change our behavior?
  • Are most public policy issues just too complex and technical for most people to have an opinion about?
  • In politics, says Adams, it’s as if different people watch the same movie at the same time, some thinking it’s a romantic comedy and others thinking it’s a horror picture. How is that possible?
  • Does logic play any part in persuasion?
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