This course looks at and uses popular culture to learn about philosophical issues as well as to get a better understanding of the importance of popular culture itself. We will be focusing on movies and comic books.
Popular culture is often contrasted with ‘high culture’ but one must realize that much of what was considered for the masses in the past is now considered for the sophisticates. Opera, Theatre, Painting…are classic examples. Indeed, we even use words with different connotations to suggest how we feel about their value, the most obvious example being the use of the terms ‘movies’ and ‘film’. Recently the term ‘Graphic Novel’ has been adopted in the mainstream to give ‘comic books’ a better image even though they are the same thing. Popular culture is usually limited to books, music, Television and movies, but should also be broadly interpreted to include other elements of modern life including toys & games, fashion, even food and drink.
POPULAR CULTURE CAN SERVE TO ENGAGE US IN REFLECTION REGARDING SIGNIFICANT ISSUES – OFTEN IN SUBTLE OR UNUSUAL WAYS. WE WILL BE LOOKING AT SAMPLES OF POPULAR CULTURE, SPECIFICALLY COMIC BOOKS AND MOVIES THAT PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO TRADITIONAL, PHILOSOPHICAL CONCERNS THAT HAVE CHALLENGED THINKERS FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, RANGING FROM ETHICAL DILEMMAS TO METAPHYSICAL MUSINGS.