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Arrested Development and Philosophy: They've Made a Huge Mistake

William Irwin (Series Editor), Kristopher G. Phillips (Editor), J. Jeremy Wisnewski (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-14626-2
272 pages
November 2011
Arrested Development and Philosophy: They
A smart philosophical look at the cult hit television show, Arrested Development

Arrested Development earned six Emmy awards, a Golden Globe award, critical acclaim, and a loyal cult following—and then it was canceled. Fortunately, this book steps into the void left by the show's premature demise by exploring the fascinating philosophical issues at the heart of the quirky Bluths and their comic exploits. Whether it's reflecting on Gob's self-deception or digging into Tobias's double entendres, you'll watch your favorite scenes and episodes of the show in a whole new way.

  • Takes an entertaining look at the philosophical ideas and tensions in the show's plots and themes
  • Gives you new insights about the Bluth family and other characters: Is George Michael's crush on his cousin unnatural? Is it immoral for Lindsay to lie about stealing clothes to hide the fact that she has a job? Are the pictures really of bunkers or balls?
  • Lets you sound super-smart as you rattle off the names of great philosophers like Sartre and Aristotle to explain key characters and episodes of the show

Packed with thought-provoking insights, Arrested Development and Philosophy is essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about their late, lamented TV show. And it'll keep you entertained until the long-awaited Arrested Development movie finally comes out. (Whenever that is.)

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: And Now a Few Words from the New CEOs of the Bluth Company ix

INTRODUCTION 1
Kristopher Phillips

PART ONE FAMILY FIRST

1 Is the Examined Life a Huge Mistake?: Happiness, Self-Knowledge, and the Bluths 7
Jason Southworth and Ruth Tallman

2 Kissing Cousins: Incest, Naturalism, and the Yuck Factor 23
Deborah R. Barnbaum

3 Freudian Arrested Development 33
Tim Jung

4 Don't Know Thyself: Gob and the Wisdom of Bad Faith 46
Daniel P. Malloy

PART TWO A BUSINESS MODEL

5 Dr. Fünke's 100 Percent Natural Good-Time Alienation Solution 61
Jeff Ewing

6 Family First: How Not to Run a Business 73
Brett Gaul

7 Bourgeois Bluths: Arrested Development and Class Status 85
Rachel McKinney

PART THREE SOME HUGE MISTAKES

8 What Whitey Isn't Ready to Hear: Social Identity in Arrested Development 99
J. Jeremy Wisnewski

9 "I Just Blue Myself": The Use and Abuse of Language in Arrested Development 111
M. E. Verrochi

10 To Bias Tobias: Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Arrested Development 123
Darci Doll

11 I'm Oscar.com: The Problem(s) of Personal Identity in Arrested Development 136
Kristopher Phillips

PART FOUR THE ONE WHERE THEY DO EPISTEMOLOGY

12 You Can't Do Magic: Gob Bluth and the Illusionists' Craft 151
Michael Cholbi

13 Is Justified True Bluth Belief Knowledge? 162
Brett Coppenger and Kristopher Phillips

14 Bunkers and Balls: Arrested Development, Underdetermination, and the Theory-ladenness of Observation 172
Michael Da Silva

PART FIVE SOLID AS IRAQ: POLITICS AND ETHICS ARRESTED

15 No Touching! George Sr.'s Brush with Treason 185
Douglas Paletta and Paul Franco

16 "I've Made a Huge Mistake": George Oscar Bluth Jr. and the Role of Error in Character Development 197
Christopher C. Kirby, Jonathan Hillard, and Mathew Holmes

17 The Comedy of Contradiction 210
Erin Fay and Willie Young

PARTS IX: AND ON THE EPILOGUE . . .

18 And Now the Story of a Wealthy Family Who Lost Everything: Arrested Development, Narrative, and How We Find Meaning 227
Tyler Shores

CONTRIBUTORS: Banana Stand Employee Roster 241

INDEX: Banana Stand Inventory 247

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KRISTOPHER G. PHILLIPS is a PhD candidate (ABD) in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Iowa.

J. JEREMY WISNEWSKI is an associate professor of philosophy at Hartwick College. He is the editor of Family Guy and Philosophy, The Office and Philosophy, and 30 Rock and Philosophy, and coeditor of X-Men and Philosophy and Twilight and Philosophy.

WILLIAM IRWIN is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including House and Philosophy, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy, and Mad Men and Philosophy.

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