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The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke Paperback – May 8, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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“If you’re looking for a straight discussion of philosophy try reading Frederick Copleston’s The History of Philosophy, but if you’re open to learning in a fun environment try this book.   Just remember that this book is first of all a study of philosophy geared to the non-specialist.  The by-product of the book is that you will deepen your understanding of and engagement with the characters in these shows.”  (Ponderings on a Faith Journey, 10 August 2012)

 

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Review copy sent on 29.6.12 to Ponderings on a Faith Journey
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118074556
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118074558
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed and benefited from this book on multiple levels.

First, I was amazed by all the different applications of Aristotle. Although he was an ancient Greek philosopher living thousands of years ago, various authors made it clear that his thought is still relevant today--even in the world of The Big Bang Theory--from advanced technology use (Sayles) to the life an an eccentric mind (Littmann). That books like these demonstrate the continued relevance of philosophy to everyday life through loved and admired television, movies, and music is a testament to their value.

Second, I was pleasantly surprised how the authors were able to help me learn novel things from my favorite television show: about how parents and grown children with different worldviews might profitably interact (Lowe and Barkman/Kowalski), what grown children might do about distant or overbearing parents (Barkman), how to deal with a difficult roommate (Bock/Bock), the limitations of a completely scientific outlook (Pigluicci), the levels and meaning of friendship (Kowalski), how to more carefully think about (alleged) disabilities (Clifton), and glimpses into science and how scientists proceed with their craft (Lawhead and Jones).

True, I may have liked some essays more than others, but I found insights within each one. More importantly, this volume helped me appreciate my favorite show in new ways. In this way, it was everything I hoped for--and it made me often laugh, too.
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Format: Paperback
If you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory (TV show not the scientific theory) --and I am a fan -- then this book is for you. Well, if you really hate philosophy then you may not like the book, which could mean that Sheldon Cooper wouldn't like the book. After all, Sheldon sees no purpose for the humanities. Still, if you're a fan you'll like the book, at least I did.

The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy is the latest volume in an ongoing series of books that explore philosophy, an academic discipline that can be rather esoteric, abstract, and even dry (if you had my philosophy professor that is), through the lens of popular culture. Other volumes make use of South Park, Harry Potter, Arrested Development, and Twilight, just to name a few. By making use of popular culture icons, the series brings to life the kinds of questions that philosophy seeks to address - the "big questions," such as what is real and how we should behave. At the same time, this book offers something different from a typical philosophy textbook. Dean Kowalski writes: "Rarely do philosophy books explore whether comic book-wielding geeks can lead the good life, or whether they can know enough science to tear the mask off nature and stare at the face of God. Rarer still are explorations into how socially awkward, Superhero-loving brainiacs meaningfully interact with down-to-earth beauties from India or the Cheesecake Factory." (p. 2).

In this volume, which utilizes The Big Bang Theory, is comprised of seventeen chapters, divided into five sections. Part One looks at Aristotle, Part Two examines ethics, Part Three looks into science and religion, while Part Four explores language and meaning, and finally in Part Five the essays look at aspects of the human experience.
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Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
There is a lot of merchandise out there with tthe shows theme applied to it, but most of it is junk or stupid games and aps that are so easy you can tell they are just out there for money alone.
This book is different. It thakes a look at the series, using particular scenes and phrases (and letting us know from which episode it came, which is helpful) and applying them to classic philosophical ideas. It is an easy read so you do not have to be well educated yourself, just a curious thinker....and a fan of the show.
I really liked this book more than I thought I would. It makes me wonder if the writers even realize what depth lies beneath the comedy as they write.
But the book, its evenworth full, new price, and I am cheap, I dont usually say that.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have watched the show and understand all the characters, then you will love this entertaining book that gives insight and reason to the Big Bang theory. It's fun to read and I enjoyed the book completely.
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Format: Paperback
If you're like me, college philosophy felt long, abstruse, and tiresome. It had no apparent connection to lived experience. No wonder Stanley Fish famously declared that "Philosophy doesn't travel." But Gerald Graff counters that all subjects, including philosophy, need a tangible debate to make them comprehensible. Connecting philosophy to something audiences share, like America's top-rated television comedy, makes concepts suddenly human-scale and coherent. Eternal verities that seemed distant in classroom discussions become suddenly very immediate.

This collection of seventeen brief essays by recognized thinkers uses examples and themes from The Big Bang Theory to unpack concepts in classical and modern philosophy. Rather than holding forth on some topic we feel we ought to understand because some author speaks volubly, these authors start with some interest their audience shares, building into philosophical conversation. Difficult concepts have shared, comprehensible foundations. High-minded discussions reflect our real lives.Suddenly, we're in on philosophy's joke.

Many articles focus on Sheldon Cooper, which should surprise nobody who watches this show. Sheldon's failure to comprehend basic societal conventions, or appreciate anybody as his equal, permits sweeping philosophical investigations. Janelle Pötzsch uses Sheldon's slapdash speech patterns to examine Ludwig Wittgenstein's evolving theories of language. Donna Marie Smith uses Sheldon's grudge against Wil Wheaton to question the nature of evil. W. Scott Clifton asks: are we bad people to laugh at Sheldon's obvious disability?

Other characters don't get ignored. Constantly evolving debates between the principal characters let Andrew Zimmerman Jones question what makes real science.
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