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True Detective and Philosophy

ISBN: 978-1-119-28078-1
224 pages
November 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
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Description

Investigating the trail of philosophical leads in HBO’s chilling True Detective series, an elite team of philosophers examine far-reaching riddles including human pessimism, Rust’s anti-natalism, the problem of evil, and the ‘flat circle’.

  • The first book dedicated to exploring the far-reaching philosophical questions behind the darkly complex and Emmy-nominated HBO True Detective series
  • Explores in a fun but insightful way the rich philosophical and existential experiences that arise from this gripping show
  • Gives new perspectives on the characters in the series, its storylines, and its themes by investigating core questions such as:  Why Life Rather Than Death? Cosmic Horror and Hopeful Pessimism, the Illusion of Self, Noir, Tragedy, Philosopher-Detectives, and much, much more
  • Draws together an elite team of philosophers to shine new light on why this genre-expanding show has inspired such a fervently questioning fan-base
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

True Detective and Philosophy: A Deeper Kind of Darkness

Introduction: Welcome to the Psychosphere

Jacob Graham and Tom Sparrow

Part One. “It’s All One Ghetto, Man, Giant Gutter in Outer Space”: Pessimism and Anti-Natalism

1. Why Life Rather Than Death? Answers from Rustin Cohle and Arthur Schopenhauer

Sandra Shapshay

2. Grounding Carcosa: Cosmic Horror and Philosophical Pessimism in True Detective

Christopher Mountenay

3. Hart and Cohle: The Hopeful Pessimism of True Detective

Joshua Foa Dienstag

4. Loving Rust’s Pessimism: Rationalism and Emotion in True Detective Season One

Rick Elmore

5. Rust’s Anti-Natalism: The Moral Imperative to “Opt Out of a Raw Deal”

Chris Byron

Part Two. “We Get the World We Deserve”: Cruelty, Violence, Evil, and Justice

6. Where is the Cruelty in True Detective?

G. Randolph Mayes

7. Nevermind: Subjective and Objective Violence in Vinci

Luke Howie

8. Naturalism, Evil, and the Moral Monster: The Evil Person in True Detective

Peter Brian Barry

9. “But I Do Have a Sense of Justice:” Law and Justice in the Bleak World of Vinci

Beau Mullen

Part Three. “Everybody’s Nobody”: Consciousness, Existence, and Identity

10. A Dream Inside a Locked Room: The Illusion of Self

Evan Thompson

11. I Am Not Who I Used to Be, But Am I Me? Personal Identity and the Narrative of Rust

Andrew M. Winters

12. The Light is Winning

Sarah K. Donovan

13. The Tragic Misstep: Consciousness, Free Will, and the Last Midnight

Daniel P. Malloy

Part Four. “This is My Least Favorite Life”: Noir, Tragedy, and Philosopher-Detectives

14. The Tragedy of True Detective Season Two: Living Our “Least Favorite Lives”

Alison Horbury

15. The Noir Detective and the City

Chuck Ward

16. Cohle and Oedipus: The Return of the Noir Hero

Daniel Tutt

Part Five. “Time is a Flat Circle”: Time in True Detective

17. Time is a Flat Circle: Nietzsche’s Concept of Eternal Recurrence

Lawrence J. Hatab

18. Eternal Recurrence and the Philosophy of the “Flat Circle”

Paul DiGeorgio

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Author Information

Jacob Graham is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia. His research focuses on ancient and modern philosophy, as well the value of philosophy in popular culture.

Tom Sparrow is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania. His primary research is in continental philosophy and phenomenology. His recent publications include Plastic Bodies (2015) and The End of Phenomenology (2014).

William Irwin (series editor) is Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania. Irwin originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books with Seinfeld and Philosophy in 1999 and is the General Editor of The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series. He has overseen recent titles including The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy, Wonder Woman and Philosophy, and Alien and Philosophy.

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