Saturday, December 12, 2009

Superheroes and Philosophy

Faster than an ontological imperative. More powerful than an existential quandary! ... um, okay, I can't actually keep that up. As part of my superhero reading splurge, I finished off Superheroes and Philosophy, a collection of essays that examines superheroes and how they intersect with philosophical ideas and ideals.

It's an okay book. It's relatively accessible, never delving too deeply into philosophical teaching. I could remember a lot of what they were discussing from the few philosophy classes I took in college. I chuckled when I realized that two of the authors reference the Ring of Gyges myth from Plato in their essays. That's always been one of my favorites. Even wrote an X-Files spec script based on it back in the day. But that's a different story for another day.

The most fascinating issues revolved around whether or not superheroes should use their powers for good. I also really appreciated Tom Morris's essay about Daredevil and his possible Catholic faith. There were fun issues about whether or not the Hulk and Bruce Banner are the same person. All in all, not a bad book.

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