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Veronica Mars and Philosophy: Investigating the Mysteries of Life (Which is a Bitch Until You Die)




Veronica Mars and Philosophy: Investigating the Mysteries of Life (Which is a Bitch Until You Die)

George A. Dunn (Editor), William Irwin (Series Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-84370-3 May 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 240 Pages

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Veronica Mars is a kick-ass private investigator, smart and street-wise. But what can her character tell us about larger life issues, such as knowledge and skepticism, trust and friendship, revenge, race, gender, and feminism? What makes her tick? And why is Logan such a sarcastic bad boy, anyway?

Veronica Mars and Philosophy features a thought-provoking collection of essays centered on philosophical issues brought forth in Veronica Mars, the critically acclaimed neo-noir detective series set in the fictional town of Neptune, California. Fans and newcomers alike will gain unique insights into the philosophical make-up of a hit show that tackled both crime and some of the larger mysteries of life.

  • Introduces significant philosophical concepts that arise in the cult TV show, Veronica Mars
  • Tackles topics relevant to contemporary youth culture, including trust and friendship, revenge, knowledge and skepticism, race, class, gender, and feminism
  • Offers insights into darker themes explored in the series, which is noted for the complexity and intricate plotting of its storylines
  • Delves deeply into the psychology of Veronica Mars during her transition from high school to college
  • Written for fans of the television show, philosophy students or readers interested in popular culture
  • Timed for release with the highly anticipated Veronica Mars feature film

Acknowledgments x

Introduction: The PI and the Philosophers 1

Part I Veronica Mars Is Rich Dude Kryptonite: Investigating Politics and the Social Order 5

1 Getting Past the Velvet Ropes: Status Anxiety in Neptune 7
William Irwin

2 “That’s Really Criminal of You”: Why It May Be Okay for Veronica Mars to Break the Law 19
Paul Hammond

3 “Got Any Enemies You Know About?” … “Well, There’s the Klan”: Race, Rancor, and Riches in Neptune, California 32
Rejena Saulsberry

Part II Veronica Mars Is a Triple Threat—Girl, Teenager, and Private Detective: Investigating the World of noir 45

4 Breaking Bad in Neptune: How “Cool Guys” Become Psychopaths 47
George A. Dunn

5 Noir Neptune: Genre and Gender Bending in Veronica Mars 61
Daniel Wack

6 “Don’t Forget about Me, Veronica”: Time, Memory, and Mystery in Veronica Mars 72
Paul Hammond

Part III Veronica Mars Doesn’t Hang with the Evil and Morally Bankrupt: Investigating Vice and Virtue 81

7 “I’m Old School, an Eye for an Eye”: Veronica and Vengeance 83
George A. Dunn

8 “We Used to be Friends”: An Aristotelian Analysis of Veronica’s Friendships 96
Catlyn Origitano

9 Does Veronica Trust Anyone? 109
Jon Robson

Part IV Veronica Mars Is No Longer That Girl: Investigating Women in Society 123

10 Veronica’s Trip to the Dentist: Don’t Blame the Victim 125
James Rocha and Mona Rocha

11 “Grow a Sense of Humor, You Crazy Bitch”: Veronica Mars as a Feminist Icon 136
Kasey Butcher and Megan M. Peters

12 On Not Being a Slut (Even When Everyone Thinks You Are) 147
Jordan Pascoe

Part V Veronica Mars Is Smarter Than Me: Investigating How and Why We Investigate 157

13 “I Used to Think that Solving the Case Was the Key to Our Happiness”: The Value of Truth in Veronica Mars 159
Dereck Coatney

14 “Have You Ever Heard of Occam’s Razor?” Veronica’s Use of Inductive Reasoning 170
Andrew Zimmerman Jones

15 “Not Pictured”: What Veronica Knew but Didn’t See 184
Daniel A. Wilkenfeld

Part VI Veronica Mars Is a Marshmallow: Investigating Veronica’s Quest for Identity 199

16 Veronica Mars—She’s a Marshmallow 201
James B. South

Notes on Contributors: Under Investigation 215

Index 219