Synopses & Reviews
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?" Andmost importantlywhether 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."
What would Aristotle make of Sheldon Cooper's life?
Why would Thomas Hobbes applaud the roommate agreement?
Why would Immanuel Kant heap haughty derision upon weaving un-unravelable webs?
Is Sheldon's "scientistic" approach to everyday life healthy or doomed to failure?
Is Wil Wheaton truly evil?
The answers to your most pressing questions about The Big Bang Theory and its goofy geniuses can be found inside The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy. Packed with irresistibly geek-worthy insights on your favorite characters, storylines, and ideas, this book examines important themes involving ethics and virtue, science, semiotics, religion, and the human condition. It brings the thinking of some of the world's greatest philosophers to bear on key aspects of the show, from Aristotle and Plato to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Simone de Beauvoir, and others. 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. Essential reading for every fan of The Big Bang Theory, this book explores whether comic bookwielding 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." Bazinga!
About 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.
Table of Contents
Introduction: “Unraveling the Mysteries”
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
2. “You’re a Sucky, Sucky Friend”: Seeking Aristotelian Friendship in The Big Bang
Dean A. Kowalski
3. The Big Bang Theory on the Use and Abuse of Modern Technology
Kenneth Wayne Sayles III
Part Two. “Is It Wrong to Say I Love Our Killer Robot?”: Ethics and Virtue
4. Feeling Good about Feeling Good: Is It Morally Wrong to Laugh at Sheldon?
W. Scott Clifton
5. …But Is Wil Wheaton Evil?
Donna Marie Smith
6. Do We Need a Roommate Agreement?: Pleasure, Selfishness, and Virtue in The Big Bang
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
8. Sheldon, Leonard, and Leslie: The Three Faces of Quantum Gravity
Andrew Zimmerman Jones
9. The One Paradigm to Rule Them All: Scientism and The Big Bang
10. Cooper Considerations
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
12. “I’m Afraid You Couldn’t Be More Wrong!”: Sheldon and Being Right about Being Wrong
13. The Cooper Conundrum: Good Lord, Who’s Tolerating Who?
Ruth E. Lowe
14. The Mendacity Bifurcation
Part Five. “The Human Experience That has Always Eluded Me”: The Human Condition
15. Mothers and Sons of The Big Bang
16. Penny, Sheldon, and Personal Growth through Difference
Nicholas G. Evans
17. Deconstructing the Women of The Big Bang Theory: So Much More than Girlfriends
Mark D. White and Maryanne L. Fisher
The Episode Compendium:”Hey, It’s a Big Menu—There’s Two Pages Just for Desserts”
Contributors. “But If We Were Part of the Team … We Could Drink for Free in Any Bar in Any College Town”
Index. “Cornucopia …Let’s Make that Our Word of the Day”