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What's Good on TV?: Understanding Ethics Through Television

ISBN: 978-1-4443-4301-4
224 pages
July 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
What
What's Good on TV? Understanding Ethics Through Television presents an introduction to the basic theories and concepts of moral philosophy using concrete examples from classic and contemporary television shows.
  • Utilizes clear examples from popular contemporary and classic television shows, such as The Office, Law and Order, Star Trek and Family Guy, to illustrate complex philosophical concepts
  • Designed to be used as a stand-alone or supplementary introductory ethics text
  • Features case studies, study questions, and suggested readings
  • Episodes mentioned are from a wide variety of television shows, and are easily accessible
  • Offers a balanced treatment of a number of controversial ethical issues including environmental ethics, animal welfare, abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, assisted suicide, censorship and the erosion of values
  • Includes a companion website at http://whatsgoodontv.webs.com
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Preface.

The Pilot Episode: Ethics and Popular Culture.

Series I. Is anything “good” on television? The Nature of Moral Value.

Episode 1: Truth and Nihilism in Ethics.

Episode 2: Normativity—Social, Legal, and Moral.

Episode 3: God and Ethics.

Series II. What’s right and wrong? Ethical Theory.

Episode 4: Relativism.

Episode 5: Deontology.

Episode 6: Consequentialism.

Episode 7: Virtue Ethics.

Series III. But what’s right when…? Practical Ethics.

Episode 8: Environmental Ethics.

Episode 9: Animal Welfare.

Episode 10: Abortion.

Episode 11: Homosexuality.

Episode 12: Punishment and Capital Punishment.

Episode 13: Assisted Suicide .

The Epilogue: Does TV Erode Our Values?

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Jamie Carlin Watson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Young Harris College, Young Harris, Georgia. He has published in the fields of philosophy of science and popular culture and philosophy. His current research is in the epistemology of a priori justification.

Robert Arp taught aspects of philosophy at several colleges and universities, including Southwest Minnesota State University, Florida State University, and Saint Louis University. He has published works in many philosophical areas, including philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind, and popular culture and philosophy.

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  • Utilizes clear examples from popular contemporary and classic television shows, such as The Office, Law and Order, Star Trek and Family Guy, to illustrate complex philosophical concepts
  • Designed to be used as a stand-alone or supplementary introductory ethics text
  • Features case studies, study questions, and suggested readings
  • Episodes mentioned are from a wide variety of television shows, and are easily accessible
  • Offers a balanced treatment of a number of controversial ethical issues including environmental ethics, animal welfare, abortion, homosexuality, capital punishment, assisted suicide, censorship and the erosion of values
See More

“In short, this is an excellent book: pleasant and easy to read while imparting essential philosophical Knowledge.”  (Times Higher Education Supplement, 24 May 2012)

 

Clear, concise, yet comprehensive ethics textbook - informative and entertaining, with references to a wide variety of television comedies and dramas - a first-rate instrument for enlivening the philosophical classroom!

Jason T. Eberl, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

 

Philosophers often seek ways to "meet students where they live", to find familiar examples from daily experience that will give traditional theories new relevance. Jamie Carlin Watson and Robert Arp do this in a way that clearly communicates ethical theory and moral reasoning, in a book that is both rigorous and genuinely enjoyable to read.

Christine James, Valdosta State University

 

This thoughtful, entertaining introduction to ethical philosophy rescues philosophy from the arid realm of academia and smartly incorporates it into the accessible land of television and everyday life.

Dan Dinello, Columba College Chicago

 

Linking classic and contemporary ethical theories to the likes of Star Trek and South Park, this unique book gets the pedagogical use of pop culture just right. What a fun and exciting way to teach and learn ethics!

William Irwin, King's College Pennsylvania

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