The Simpsons and Philosophy : The D'oh! of Homer, Paperback Book

The Simpsons and Philosophy : The D'oh! of Homer Paperback

Edited by William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, Aeon J. Skoble

Part of the Popular Culture and Philosophy series

4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


This unconventional and lighthearted introduction to the ideas of the major Western philosophers examines The Simpsons � TV's favorite animated family.

The authors look beyond the jokes, the crudeness, the attacks on society � and see a clever display of irony, social criticism, and philosophical thought.

The writers begin with an examination of the characters.

Does Homer actually display Aristotle's virtues of character?

In what way does Bart exemplify American pragmatism?

The book also examines the ethics and themes of the show, and concludes with discussions of how the series reflects the work of Aristotle, Marx, Camus, Sartre, and other thinkers.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Co ,U.S.
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Television
  • ISBN: 9780812694338

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

The Simpsons gets me suckered into buying another book exploring all the meaning and philosophy behind my favorite show. This is probably the best of these types of books.

Review by

I was a bit worried that reading this book would ruin the Simpsons for me but I'm happy to report that I still laugh out loud every time I watch it. The essays were all vastly different - for example some tended to explain characturistics of the Simpsons using different philosophers and some tended to try to explain certain philosophies using the Simpsons as examples. Some worked for me and some didn't. Some of the authors missed the point that the Simpsons is written to be funny - for example in "Thus Spake Bart" (a Neitzscean analysis of Barts characture) the author misses the irony in a dialog between Bart and Lisa and attributes Bart's response to the loss of his identity as a rebel (personally I think it's just a gag - just a we all sometimes say things that we don;t really mean for the sake of a cheap laugh. My favourite chapter was the one on semiotics towards the end which explained the difference between the written word (in which the signifier is inherantly abstracted from the signified) and media like photography or moving images in which the signifier seems (on the surface) to be inherant to what is being signified but (for example in advertising) the signifier is more than just a picture of an object, it is a production and the objects are made to look a certain way. I guess that's why visual media is so important to advertising and why western culture is increasingly visual. Intersting (very interesting) :-)

Review by

Oh don't be pretentious . . . it's fun! It's also all good. The ability to relate thought and thinking not only to the issues of today, but to the contemporary inculturated expressions of that thought is a necessary discipline if ideas are to be recognized and used well. This book undertakes that task well. Enjoy it - and admit it - you just wish you'd thought of it first!

Review by

I really enjoyed these series of essays on philosophy with the Simpsons as the starting point. My favorite essay has to be the one comparing Nietze to Bart. I was actually laughing while reading the essay!

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