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True Detective and Philosophy: A Deeper Kind of Darkness

True Detective and Philosophy: A Deeper Kind of Darkness

William Irwin (Series Editor), Jacob Graham (Editor), Tom Sparrow (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-28082-8 September 2017 Wiley-Blackwell 224 Pages




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

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