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Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test

Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test

William Irwin (Editor), Mark D. White (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-470-39685-8

Jan 2009

240 pages

In Stock

$18.95

Description

Alan Moore's Watchmen is set in 1985 and chronicles the alternative history of the United States where the US edges dangerously closer to nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Within this world exists a group of crime busters, who don elaborate costumes to conceal their identity and fight crime, and an intricate plot to kill and discredit these ""superheroes.""

Alan Moore's Watchmen popularized the graphic novel format, has been named one of Time magazine's top 100 novels, and is now being made into a highly anticipated movie adaptation. This latest book in the popular Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series peers into Moore's deeply philosophical work to parse and deconstruct the ethical issues raised by Watchmen's costumed adventurers, their actions, and their world. From nuclear destruction to utopia, from governmental authority to human morality and social responsibility, it answers questions fans have had for years about Watchmen's ethical quandaries, themes, and characters.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: They Left It Entirely in My Hands ix

Introduction: A Rorschach Test 1

PART ONE

THE POLITICS OF POWER: WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?

1 The Superman Exists, and He’s American: Morality in the Face of Absolute Power 5
Christopher Robichaud

2 Can We Steer This Rudderless World? Kant, Rorschach, Retributivism, and Honor 19
Jacob M. Held

3 Super-Vigilantes and the Keene Act 33
Tony Spanakos

4 Superheroes and Supermen: Finding Nietzsche’s Übermensch in Watchmen 47
J. Keeping

PART TWO

THE VEIDT PLAN: WATCHMEN AND ETHICS

5 Means, Ends, and the Critique of Pure Superheroes 63
J. Robert Loftis

6 The Virtues of Nite Owl’s Potbelly 79
Mark D. White

7 Rorschach: When Telling the Truth Is Wrong 91
Alex Nuttall

PART THREE

THE METAPHYSICS OF DR. MANHATTAN

8 Dr. Manhattan, I Presume? 103
James DiGiovanna

9 A Timely Encounter: Dr. Manhattan and Henri Bergson 115
Christopher M. Drohan

10 Free Will and Foreknowledge: Does Jon Really Know What Laurie Will Do Next, and Can She Do Otherwise? 125
Arthur Ward

11 I’m Just a Puppet Who Can See the Strings: Dr. Manhattan as a Stoic Sage 137
Andrew Terjesen

PART FOUR

THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER’S COMIC BOOK

12 “Why Don’t You Go Read a Book or Something?” Watchmen as Literature 157
Aaron Meskin

13 Watchwomen 173
Sarah Donovan and Nick Richardson

14 Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis: The Ambiguously Gay Duo 185
Robert Arp

15 What’s So Goddamned Funny? The Comedian and Rorschach on Life’s Way 197
Taneli Kukkonen

CONTRIBUTORS: Who Writes about the Watchmen? 215

INDEX: After the Masquerade 221