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Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter (Popular Culture and Philosophy) Paperback – May 10, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Popular Culture and Philosophy (Book 58)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812697170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812697179
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Greene is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He is co-editor of Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy, The Sopranos and Philosophy, Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy, and The Golden Compass and Philosophy.

George Reisch is the author of How the Cold War Transformed the Philosophy of Science and editor of Pink Floyd and Philosophy and co-editor of Monty Python and Philosophy, Radiohead and Philosophy, and Bullshit and Philosophy.

Rachel Robison is completing her Ph.D in philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is co-editor of The Golden Compass and Philosophy.

More About the Author

Nicolas Michaud likes to think. He likes to think about a lot of things... Everything, in fact. On occasion, as a result, he writes. Most recently, Nick co-edited The Hunger Games and Philosophy.

Read his Hunger Games movie interview here: http://hungergamesmovie.org/14055/exclusive-interview-with-nicolas-michaud/

He has also contributed to 30 Rock and Philosophy, Transformers and Philosophy, Final Fantasy and Philosophy, Stephen Colbert and Philosophy, Mr. Monk and Philosophy, The Golden Compass and Philosophy, World of Warcraft and Philosophy, Twilight and Philosophy, Martial Arts and Philosophy, Manga and Philosophy, Green Lantern and Philosophy, Dexter and Philosophy, SpongeBob Square Pants and Philosophy, Tattoos and Philosophy, and The Big Lebowski and Philosophy.
Nick also writes for Internationalstudent.com: http://www.internationalstudent.com/study-philosophy/

...He doesn't get much sleep.

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
A great essay.
John V. Karavitis
This was a very interesting read for me, especially as a fan of Dexter.
WiccanWolf
I found it very interesting.
jfelton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Fraser on June 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for any fan of the show or of philosophy. The book is a collection of articles written by philosophers around the country covering a wide range of topics, all relating to the popular television show, Dexter. The articles are intriguing and engaging, for the most part. I have a BS degree in Philosophy, so I had slightly higher expectations as far as philosophical content is concerned, however the articles are all very well-written and fun to read, which is perfect for any fan of the series. The book ranges from a wide variety of topics from the ethical concerns that Dexter presents as a moral being considering that he is a serial killer that kills other serial killers to classifying Dexter as a Superhero. If you are a fan of the show, I would highly recommend reading this book, but only after you have watched all the episodes through Season 5! You wouldn't want to spoil any surprises or plot twists from episodes that you haven't watched!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Schaler on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you're a thoughtful Dexter fan, you will love this book, which looks at the ethical and metaphysical questions arising from the television show that transforms a "psychotic" serial killer into a hero of our time. Several of the chapters address the question of whether we should feel OK about empathizing with a murderer--and yes, we should.

This book presents contrasting points of view from different writers with different philosophical perspectives. The chapter by John Kenneth Muir, for example, is fascinating proof that Dexter is a superhero for our modern times. Like all superheroes, Dexter is an orphan who doesn't really "belong" anywhere. He kills only bad guys, thus, benefitting society. However, he doesn't dare reveal who he really is. He has fiendish, ingenious enemies who try to outwit him, and who, in strange ways, need him as much as he seems to need them. Several of the chapters in this riveting book, like the one by Nicolas Michaud, delve into the question of free will. Is Dexter operating as a "moral agent?" Or is it true that Dexter can't help himself, his murderous tendencies caused by genetics, his unconscious mind, "mental illness," or his environment? And if his behavior is "caused," does that excuse him for his crimes? A big element in the Dexter puzzle is the role of Dexter's stepfather, Harry. On one level, it seems Dexter can't stop himself from killing, and "Harry's Code" makes sure he kills only those people we are led to believe deserve being killed. However, we gradually discover that Harry isn't so innocent.
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Format: Paperback
Overall this is a decent entry in Open Court's "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series. Although Open Court stays true to form by including essays that stray from the mandate of "popular culture and philosophy", there are a number of well-written and informative essays here. Readers of philosophy in general and Dexter fans in particular will be satisfied with this entry in the series. However, I feel that this collection of essays prevails more due to the richness and depth of the subject matter than to the skill of many of the contributors and the editor.

The themes tackled herein relate to Dexter more than anything else, of course. The themes focus on emotions versus rationality, ethics and morality, identity, and certainty. What is the role of emotion in human behavior and morality? Is Dexter morally responsible? Is he moral, immoral, or amoral? What does it mean to be human? What is certainty, and how certain can Dexter be when he chooses a target? Does Dexter do a lot of good by doing so much bad?

What are the essays like? Half are insightful, solid, even excellent. The other half fall into various categories, such as social commentary (chs. 1 & 25), "does not belong in this book" (chs. 20), psychobabble (ch. 8), weird (ch. 19), continental philosophy (chs. 6, 11, 16 & 18), and bland/went nowhere/weak (chs. 3, 9, 13 & 23).

The book started with John Kenneth Muir's "The Killing Joke". Here, Mr. Muir compares Dexter against the typical attributes of a super-hero: fights evil, has "powers", wears a costume and a mask of normalcy. A great essay, well-written, and smooth. But the joke's on us! No philosophy, just social commentary. The book ended with David Ramsay Steele's "Safe Dex". Here, Mr.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WiccanWolf on July 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
This was a very interesting read for me, especially as a fan of Dexter. It made me really think about some of the issues that come up in the essays in regard to the series...and about myself as well. Very good.
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