Mark D. White, Robert Arp

Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul

(Copyright)

Main Details
Credits
Publisher Series Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series
Series Editor William Irwin
Editor Mark D. White
Editor Robert Arp
Contributor Mahesh Ananth
Contributor Sam Cowling
Contributor James DiGiovanna
Contributor Ben Dixon
Contributor Sarah K. Donovan
Contributor Christopher M. Drohan
Contributor Galen Foresman
Contributor David M. Hart
Contributor Jason J. Howard
Contributor Randall M. Jensen
Contributor David Kyle Johnson
Contributor Stephen Kershnar
Contributor Daniel P. Malloy
Contributor Carsten Fogh Nielsen
Contributor Ron Novy
Contributor Brett Chandler Patterson
Contributor Chris Ragg
Contributor Ryan Indy Rhodes
Contributor Nicholas Richardson
Contributor Christopher Robichaud
Contributor Jason Southworth
Contributor Tony Spanakos
Contributor Mark D. White
Imprint Wiley
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Copyright Holder John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
About/Subject Batman
About/Subject Joker
About/Subject American Pop Culture
About/Subject Comics
Works
Date
Copyright
Identifying Codes
ISBN 13 978-0-470-53280-5
Format e-Book
Publication Location Hoboken, New Jersey
Genre
Language English
Chapters The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series
Title Page
Dedication
Copyright Page
Acknowledgements
Introduction

PART ONE - DOES THE DARK KNIGHT ALWAYS DO RIGHT?

Chapter 1 - WHY DOESN’T BATMAN KILL THE JOKER?
Mark D. White

Meet the Joker
Is Batman a Utilitarian or Deontologist? (Or None of the Above?)
To the Bat-Trolley, Professor Thomson!
Hush Will Love This Next Story . . .
Top Ten Reasons the Batmobile Is Not a Trolley . . .
“I Want My Lawyer! Oh, That’s Right, I Killed Him Too”
So, Case Closed-Right?

Chapter 2 - IS IT RIGHT TO MAKE A ROBIN?
James DiGiovanna

What Should a Batman Do?
The Duty of the Superhero
Using Robin for the General Good
Crime Fighting and Character
Can Batman Train Robin in Virtue?
Sometimes Heroes Fail

Chapter 3 - BATMAN’S VIRTUOUS HATRED
Stephen Kershnar

Batman Hates
Vice and Hatred
Is Batman Virtuous, or Does He Do Virtuous Things?
Batman’s Hatred Is Virtuous
Batman’s Hatred Is Not in His Self-Interest
Lacking Balance

PART TWO - LAW, JUSTICE, AND THE SOCIAL ORDER: WHERE DOES BATMAN FIT IN?

Chapter 4 - NO MAN’S LAND: SOCIAL ORDER IN GOTHAM CITY AND NEW ORLEANS
Brett Chandler Patterson

No Man’s Lands: Gotham City and New Orleans
The Road to No Man’s Land
Survival over Justice: Villains, Gangs, and Hobbes’s State of Nature
William Petit versus Jim Gordon: Violence in the Quest for Justice
The Witness of Nonviolent Humanitarians
“This Is My Town”: Batman and the Restoration of Order
The Thin Veil

Chapter 5 - GOVERNING GOTHAM
Tony Spanakos

Gotham Made Me Do It
Do We Need Any Stinking Badges? Legitimacy and Violence
From Crime Alley to Sin City: Hobbes and Gotham
“Two” Little Security
The Anti-Batman: Nietzschean Rebellions
The Real Dynamic Duo: Batman and Gordon
Theorizing Government

Chapter 6 - THE JOKER’S WILD: CAN WE HOLD TH E CLOWN PRINCE MORALLY RESPONSIBLE?
Christopher Robichaud

Laugh and the World Laughs with You-or Does It?
Clearing Out Some Bats in the Belfry
Putting One More Card on the Table (Don’t Worry, It’s Not a Joker)
Taking the Plunge: The Fall from Freedom
Who Has the Last Laugh?

PART THREE - ORIGINS AND ETHICS: BECOMING THE CAPED CRUSADER

Chapter 7 - BATMAN’S PROMISE
Randall M. Jensen

Batman Begins
The Nature of the Promise
Promises and Morality
Making Promises to the Dead
Batman Returns
Batman Forever?

Chapter 8 - SHOULD BRUCE WAYNE HAVE BECOME BATMAN?
Mahesh Ananth and Ben Dixon

What to Do with So Much Time and Money?
“The Singer”: Batman’s First Real Nemesis
Batman versus the Singer: The Battle over Aiding Gotham
Batman versus the Singer (Round Two): No Supererogatory Superheroes
The Singer’s Victory: Letting the Light of Reason Illuminate the Bat-Cave
But This Ruins Everything!

Chapter 9 - WHAT WOULD BATMAN DO? BRUCE WAYNE AS MORAL EXEMPLAR
Ryan Indy Rhodes and David Kyle Johnson

Moral Exemplars
Batman’s Virtues
The Unrealistic Objection
The Language Objection
The Exaggeration Objection
To the Defense: Incomplete Information
But Then Again . . .
Batman the Icon
Batman Is a Moral Exemplar

PART FOUR - WHO IS THE BATMAN? (IS THAT A TRICK QUESTION?)

Chapter 10 - UNDER THE MASK: HOW ANY PERSON CAN BECOME BATMAN
Sarah K. Donovan and Nicholas P. Richardson

So, You Wanna Be Batman?
Will the “Real” Batman Please Step Forward?
Building a Batman
Arkham Asylum and the Construction of Truth
Your Turn, Batman!
How Batman Sees Through the Lies about Identity and Reality
Batman and-Well, Uh, You Know-Bats
Can You Face the Bat?

Chapter 11 - COULD BATMAN HAVE BEEN THE JOKER?
Sam Cowling and Chris Ragg

A Modal Question
Some Not-So-Secret Things about Identity
Picking through Possible Worlds
Necessary Secret Identities
“The Batman” and “The Robin”
Fictions and Possible Worlds
All Joking Aside, This Is a Modal Muddle

Chapter 12 - BATMAN’S IDENTITY CRISIS AND WITTGENSTEIN’S FAMILY RESEMBLANCE
Jason Southworth

Comics, Conditions, and Counterexamples
Wittgenstein and Language Games
Games and Gotham
Robin? Who’s That?
Keeping It in the Family?

Chapter 13 - WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A BATMAN?
Ron Novy

Answering the Batphone
What It’s Not Like to Be Batman
Bats and Thomas Nagel
What It Is Like to Be Out of the Asylum

PART FIVE - BEING THE BAT: INSIGHTS FROM EXISTENTIALISM AND TAOISM

Chapter 14 - ALFRED, THE DARK KNIGHT OF FAITH: BATMAN AND KIERKEGAARD
Christopher M. Drohan

The Saint
Justice: Law and Fairness versus Love and Devotion
The Absurdity of It All
Absurdity, Irony, and Faith
Batman, the Knight of the Infinite Resignation
Alfred, the Knight of Faith
Paradox and Peace

Chapter 15 - DARK NIGHTS AND THE CALL OF CONSCIENCE
Jason J. Howard

Does Batman Have a Conscience?
Conscience and Authority
Money, Hot Tubs, and Life’s Tough Decisions
Seeing Things Clearly with Better Bat-Vision
Feeling Guilty (or “How to Battle the Blues”)
Dark Nights and the Call of Authentic Conscience
Conclusions, Capes, and Cowls

Chapter 16 - BATMAN’S CONFRONTATION WITH DEATH, ANGST, AND FREEDOM
David M. Hart

A Determined Batman?
Alfred and Appearance
Thrown into Our Worlds
Death and the Dark Knight
I Shall Become a Bat
Determinism and the Dark Knight

PART SIX - FRIEND, FATHER, . . . RIVAL? THE MANY ROLES OF THE BAT

Chapter 17 - WHY BATMAN IS BETTER THAN SUPERMAN
Galen Foresman

Backstory: Bat-fans’ Bane
Donning the Philosophical Persona
The Origin Story: How We Make Evaluative Comparisons
Lurking Villainy: Begging the Question
Justice Restored: Superheroes and Bravery
To Be Continued . . .

Chapter 18 - WORLD’S FINEST . . . FRIENDS? BATMAN, SUPERMAN, AND THE NATURE OF FRIENDSHIP
Daniel P. Malloy

World’s Finest
That Superman-What a Guy!
Superman the Aristotelian
What Kind of Friend Is Batman-or Bruce Wayne?
Batman the Nietzschean
When Friends Fall Out: Batman versus Superman
BSFs: Best Superfriends Forever?

Chapter 19 - LEAVING THE SHADOW OF THE BAT: ARISTOTLE, KANT, AND DICK GRAYSON ON MORAL EDUCATION
Carsten Fogh Nielsen

A Superhero without Superpowers
Aristotle and Learning-by-Doing
Is Batman a Morally Exemplary Human Being?
Authority Shmauthority!
Let’s Call This the “Gordon-Yindel Disagreement”
And in the Other Corner . . . Kant!
Dick Grayson and How to Become an Autonomous Human Being (or Your Money Back!)
Leaving the Shadow of the Bat

Chapter 20 - THE TAO OF THE BAT
Bat-Tzu (as interviewed by Mark D. White)

Notes
Contributors
Index

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