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About Mark D. White
Mark D. White is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the College of Staten Island/CUNY, where he teaches courses in philosophy, economics, and law, and is also a member of the economics faculty at the Graduate Center of CUNY. He is the author of seven books: "Kantian Ethics and Economics: Autonomy, Dignity, and Character" (Stanford University Press), "The Manipulation of Choice," "The Illusion of Well-Being," and "The Decline of the Individual" (all from Palgrave Macmillan), "The Virtues of Captain America: Modern-Day Lessons on Character from a World War II Superhero" (Wiley Blackwell), "A Philosopher Reads Marvel Comics' Civil War: Exploring the Moral Judgments of Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man" (Ockham Publishing), and "Batman and Ethics" (Wiley Blackwell), as well as over sixty journal articles and book chapters in the intersections between economics, philosophy, and law. He has edited or co-edited a number of books on these subjects, including "Economics and the Virtues: Building a New Moral Foundation" (with Jennifer A. Baker), "The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination" (with Chrisoula Andreou), and "The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics" (all from Oxford University Press), and edits two book series: Perspectives from Social Economics (Palgrave Macmillan) and On Ethics and Economics (Rowman & Littlefield International).
He is also a frequent contributor and editor for the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, which introduces readers to basic philosophical concepts using the movies, TV shows, comic books, and music that they love. He has edited or co-edited volumes on Batman, Watchmen, Iron Man, Green Lantern, the Avengers, Superman, and Doctor Strange, and contributed to volumes on Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Black Sabbath, Metallica, South Park, The Office, Family Guy, and Alice in Wonderland.
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Batman is one of the most complex characters ever to appear in comic books, graphic novels, and on the big screen. What philosophical trials does this superhero confront in order to keep Gotham safe? Combing through seventy years of comic books, television shows, and movies, Batman and Philosophy explores how the Dark Knight grapples with ethical conundrums, moral responsibility, his identity crisis, the moral weight he carries to avenge his murdered parents, and much more. How does this caped crusader measure up against the teachings of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard, and Lao Tzu?
The first look at the philosophy behind the Captain America comics and movies, publishing in advance of the movie release of Captain America: The Winter Solider in April 2014.
In The Virtues of Captain America, philosopher and long-time comics fan Mark D. White argues that the core principles, compassion, and judgment exhibited by the 1940’s comic book character Captain America remain relevant to the modern world. Simply put, "Cap" embodies many of the classical virtues that have been important to us since the days of the ancient Greeks: honesty, courage, loyalty, perseverance, and, perhaps most importantly, honor. Full of entertaining examples from more than 50 years of comic books, White offers some serious philosophical discussions of everyone’s favorite patriot in a light-hearted and accessible way.
- Presents serious arguments on the virtues of Captain America while being written in a light-hearted and often humorous tone
- Introduces basic concepts in moral and political philosophy to the general reader
- Utilizes examples from 50 years of comics featuring Captain America, the Avengers, and other Marvel superheroes
- Affirms the value of "old-fashioned" virtues for the modern world without indulging in nostalgia for times long passed
- Reveals the importance of the sound principles that America was founded upon
- Publishing in advance of Captain America: The Winter Soldier out in April 2014.
Avengers assemble! Tackling intriguing dilemmas and issues that no single great philosopher can withstand, this powerful book enlists the brainpower of an A-list team of history's most prominent thinkers to explore the themes behind the action of Marvel Comics' all-star superhero team.
- Arms you with new insights into the characters and themes of The Avengers
- Deepens your appreciation both of The Avengers comics and the Joss Whedon movie adaptation
- Answers the philosophical questions you've always had about Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including: Can a reformed criminal become a superhero? Can an android love a human? If a hero beats his wife, is he still a hero?
- Helps you think differently about the members of the superhero team—Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the others
This thought-provoking book will help you understand this band of superheroes better, whether you've followed the Avengers for years or are a Joss Whedon fan just getting to know them.
He has thrilled millions for 75 years, with a legacy that transcends national, cultural, and generational borders, but is there more to the Man of Steel than just your average mythic superhero in a cape? The 20 chapters in this book present a fascinating exploration of some of the deeper philosophical questions raised by Superman, the Last Son of Krypton and the newest hero in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture arsenal.
Batman has been one of the world’s most beloved superheroes since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Clad in his dark cowl and cape, he has captured the imagination of millions with his single-minded mission to create a better world for the people of Gotham City by fighting crime, making use of expert detective skills, high-tech crime-fighting gadgets, and an extensive network of sidekicks and partners. But why has this self-made hero enjoyed such enduring popularity? And why are his choices so often the subject of intense debate among his fans and philosophers alike?
Batman and Ethics goes behind the mask to shed new light on the complexities and contradictions of the Dark Knight’s moral code. From the logic behind his aversion to killing to the moral status of vigilantism and his use of torture in pursuit of justice (or perhaps revenge), Batman’s ethical precepts are compelling but often inconsistent and controversial. Philosopher and pop culture expert Mark D. White uses the tools of moral philosophy to track Batman’s most striking ethical dilemmas and decisions across his most prominent storylines from the early 1970s through the launch of the New 52, and suggests how understanding the mercurial moral character of the caped crusader might help us reconcile our own.
A thought-provoking and entertaining journey through four decades of Batman’s struggles and triumphs in time for the franchise’s 80th anniversary, Batman and Ethics is a perfect gateway into the complex questions of moral philosophy through a focused character study of this most famous of fictional superheroes.
Explore the mind and world of the brilliant neurosurgeon-turned-Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Stephen Strange
Essays from two-dozen philosophers illuminate how essential philosophical concepts, including existentialism, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics, combine to make Doctor Strange one of the most complex characters in the Marvel Universe, and a welcome addition to the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture stable of superheroes.
Alan Moore's Watchmen popularized the graphic novel format, has been named one of Time magazine's top 100 novels, and is now being made into a highly anticipated movie adaptation. This latest book in the popular Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series peers into Moore's deeply philosophical work to parse and deconstruct the ethical issues raised by Watchmen's costumed adventurers, their actions, and their world. From nuclear destruction to utopia, from governmental authority to human morality and social responsibility, it answers questions fans have had for years about Watchmen's ethical quandaries, themes, and characters.
The most recent Green Lantern series—Blackest Night—propelled GL to be the top-selling comic series for more than a year, the latest twist in seven decades of Green Lantern adventures. This book sheds light on the deep philosophical issues that emerge from the Green Lantern Corps's stories and characters, from what Plato's tale of the Ring of Gyges tells us about the Green Lantern ring and the desire for power to whether willpower is the most important strength to who is the greatest Green Lantern of all time.
- Gives you a new perspective on Green Lantern characters, story lines, and themes
- Shows what philosophical heavy hitters such as Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant can teach us about members of the Green Lantern Corp and their world
- Answers your most pressing Green Lantern questions, including: What motivates Hal Jordan to be a Green Lantern? Does the Blackest Night force us to confront old male/female stereotypes? What is the basis for moral judgment in the Green Lantern Corps? Is Hal Jordan a murderer?
Whether you're a new fan or an elder from Oa, Green Lantern and Philosophy is a must-have companion.
This edited volume starts in on the task of integrating the problem of procrastination into philosophical inquiry. The focus is on exploring procrastination in relation to agency, rationality, and ethics-topics that philosophy is well-suited to address. Theoretically and empirically informed analyses are developed and applied with the aim of shedding light on a vexing practical problem that generates a great deal of frustration, regret, and harm. Some of the key questions that are addressed include the following: How can we analyze procrastination in a way that does justice to both its voluntary and its self-defeating dimensions? What kind of practical failing is procrastination? Is it a form of weakness of will? Is it the product of fragmented agency? Is it a vice? Given the nature of procrastination, what are the most promising coping strategies?
On the surface, Iron Man appears to be a straightforward superhero, another rich guy fighting crime with fancy gadgets. But beneath the shiny armor and flashy technology lies Tony Stark, brilliant inventor and eccentric playboy, struggling to balance his desires, addictions, and relationships with his duties as the Armored Avenger. Iron Man and Philosophy explores the many philosophical issues that emerge from the essential conflicts found in the decades of Iron Man stories in comics and movies. What kind of moral compass does Tony Stark have? Is Iron Man responsible for the death of Captain America after the Marvel Universe “Civil War”? Should people like Stark run the world? How does Tony’s alcoholism impact his performance as Iron Man, and what does it say about moral character? Ultimately, what can Iron Man teach us about the role of technology in society?
As absorbing as Iron Man comic books and movies, Iron Man and Philosophy:
- Gives you a new perspective on Iron Man characters, story lines, and themes
- Shows what philosophical heavy hitters such as Aristotle, Locke, and Heidegger can teach us about Tony Stark/Iron Man
- Considers issues such as addiction, personal responsibility, the use of technology, and the role of government
Whether you've been reading the comic books for years or have gotten into Iron Man through the movies, Iron Man and Philosophy is a must-have companion for every fan.
Who can resist the lure of Downton Abbey and the triumphs and travails of the Crawley family and its servants? We admire Bates's sense of honor, envy Carson's steadfastness, and thrill to Violet's caustic wit. Downton Abbey and Philosophy draws on some of history's most profound philosophical minds to delve deeply into the dilemmas that confront our favorite characters. Was Matthew right to push Mary away after his injury in the war? Would Lord Grantham have been justified in blocking Lady Sybil's marriage to Tom Branson? And is Thomas really such a bad person?
- Offers fresh and intriguing insights into your favorite Downton Abbey characters, plot lines, and ideas
- Addresses many of your most pressing questions about Downton Abbey's story and characters, such as: Should Daisy have lied to William about her feelings toward him—especially to the point of marrying him? Should Mr. Bates have been upfront with Anna from the beginning about his past?
- Views Downton Abbey through the lens of some of the most influential philosophical thinkers, from Saint Augustine and David Hume to Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill
- Ventures upstairs and downstairs to examine key themes involving ethics, virtue, morality, class, feminism, the human condition, and more
Philosophical speculation awaits on every page of this essential Downton Abbey companion. So take a seat in your personal library, have the butler pour a cup of tea, and start reading!
Economics is often defined as the science of choice or human action. But choice and action are essentially mental phenomena, an aspect rarely mentioned in the economics discourse. Choice, while not always a conscious or rational process, is held to involve beliefs, desires, intentions and arguably even free will. Actions are often opposed to mere bodily movements, with the former being in some sense only understandable in reference to mental processes while the latter are understandable in entirely non-mental, physical terms.
While philosophers have long concerned themselves with the connections between these concepts, economists have tended to steer clear of what might appear to be an a priori debate. At the same time, philosophers working on these important notions have tended to not dirty their hands with the empirical, real-world applications in which economists are specialized. This volume fills these gaps by bringing economists and philosophers of mind together to explore the intersection of their disciplines.