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Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy: Brains Before Bullets




Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy: Brains Before Bullets

George A. Dunn (Editor), Jason T. Eberl (Editor), William Irwin (Series Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-64166-8 August 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 264 Pages


“Brains before bullets” – ancient and modern wisdom for “mechanics and motorcycle enthusiasts”

Essential reading for fans of the show, this book takes readers deeper into the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, the Teller-Morrow family, and the ethics that surround their lives and activities.

  • Provides fascinating moral insights into Sons of Anarchy, its key characters, plot lines and ideas
  • Investigates compelling philosophical issues centering on loyalty, duty, the ethics of war, authority, religion and whether the ends justify the means
  • Teaches complex philosophical ideas in a way that’s accessible to the general interest reader in order to inspire them to further reading of the great philosophers
  • Authors use their deep knowledge of the show to illuminate themes that are not always apparent even to die-hard fans

Introduction: “Gotta Look This Life in the Eye” viii

Acknowledgments: Thanks to the Reaper Crew x

Part I “An Equal Mix of Might and Right”: Ethics at 92 mph 1

1 Virtue and Vice in the SAMCROpolis: Aristotle Views Sons of Anarchy 3
Jason T. Eberl

2 A Prospect’s Guide to Nietzsche 16
Tim Jung and Minerva Ahumada

3 Tig Needs an Escort Home: Is Loyalty a Virtue? 29
James Edwin Mahon

4 A Saint among the Sons: Aquinas on Murder and the Men of Mayhem 38
Randall M. Jensen

Part II “Off the Social Grid”: The Politics of Mayhem 51

5 SAMCRO versus the Leviathan: Laying Down the (Motor)Cycle of Violence 53
George A. Dunn

6 “The Rat Prince” and The Prince: The Machiavellian Politics of the MC 65
Timothy M. Dale and Joseph J. Foy

7 Chaos and Order: Anarchy in the MC 73
Bruno de Brito Serra

8 “Another Fun-Filled Day in the Six Counties”: The Real IRA—Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? 85
Philip Smolenski

9 SAMCRO Goes to War 94
Alex Leveringhaus

Part III “The Concept Was Pure, Simple, True”: Biker Identity and Meaning 105

10 My Skin, My Self: SAMCRO’s Ink and Personal Identity 107
Charlene Elsby

11 The Faith of Our Sons and the Tragic Quest 117
Kevin Corn

12 Once a Biker Slut, Always a Biker Slut: Narrative Identity in Charming 128
Minerva Ahumada and Tim Jung

13 SAMCRO and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 139
Massimiliano L. Cappuccio

Part IV “The Passion in His Heart and the Reason in His Mind”: Sex, Love, and Gender 151

14 Sometimes a Motorcycle Is Just a Motorcycle: Freud and Hamlet Come to Charming 153
Andrea Zanin

15 When a Charming Woman Speaks 165
Leslie A. Aarons

16 Mothers of Anarchy: Power, Control, and Care in the Feminine Sphere 175
Leigh C. Kolb

Part V “Each Savage Event Was a Catalyst for the Next”: The Historic and the Homeric 187

17 Sons of History: How SAMCRO Lost and Found Its Way 189
Peter S. Fosl

18 Anarchism and Authenticity, or Why SAMCRO Shouldn’t Fight History 201
Peter S. Fosl

19 Good Old Fashioned Mayhem 214
Greg Littmann

20 The Road Out of Mayhem 225
Greg Littmann

Contributors: Philosophers of Mayhem 237

List of Episodes: The Life (and Death?) of Sam Crow 243

Index 246