The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy

The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke

Book - 2012
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Uses characters and situations from the television program "The Big Bang Theory" to discuss philosophy.
Publisher: Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., c2012.
ISBN: 9781118074558
Branch Call Number: 791.4572
Additional Contributors: Kowalski, Dean A


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Dec 31, 2017

The book is not a total loss: some interesting points, tidbits of knowledge, and some amusement are to be found. If you love the show, you can probably stand most of this book. Overall, this was a big whimper.

These seventeen essays come mostly from professors of philosophy. It is part of a “pop culture and philosophy” series that includes South Park and Philosophy, and The Big Lebowsky and Philosophy, among 28 titles, with more announced, including The Simpsons and Philosophy. The non-judgmental range of titles is internally consistent with the post-modernist presentation here.

The book starts out well with “Aristotle on Sheldon Cooper: Ancient Greek Meets Modern Geek” by Greg Littman (professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville). “Should you live like Sheldon Cooper? Think hard because you don’t have the luxury of not making a choice. Fourteen billion years after the Big Bang, evolution has finally produced a type of animal, human beings, that must choose how it will live.” From there, entropy takes over and the observations, opinions, and “thoughts” have less potential.

Doctoral candidate in political philosophy Ruth E. Lowe displayed typical ignorance in Chapter 13 (on tolerance and toleration) when she says that “scientists told us the Earth was flat.” They did not. Ample evidence shows the ancient Greek philosophers knew that the Earth is a sphere. Likewise, Mackonis seems to think that if a statement is 80% likely to be true, then this somehow creates multivalued logic with an included middle, blanking out on the meaning of the meaning of "probability."

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