The Princess Bride is the 1987 satirical adventure movie that had to wait for the Internet and DVDs to become the most quoted of all cult classics. The Princess Bride and Philosophy is for all those who have wondered about the true meaning of “Inconceivable!,” why the name “Roberts” uniquely inspires fear, and whether it’s truly a miracle to restore life to someone who is dead, but not necessarily completely dead. The Princess Bride is filled with people trying to persuade each other of various things, and invites us to examine the best methods of persuasion. It’s filled with promises, some kept and some broken, and cries out for philosophical analysis of what makes a promise and why promises should be kept. It’s filled with beliefs which go beyond the evidence, and philosophy can help us to decide when such beliefs can be justified. It’s filled with political violence, both by and against the recognized government, and therefore raises all the issues of political philosophy. Westley, Buttercup, Prince Humperdinck, Inigo Montoya, the giant Fezzik, and the Sicilian Vizzini keep on re-appearing in these pages, as examples of philosophical ideas. Is it right for Montoya to kill the six-fingered man, even though there is no money in the revenge business? What’s the best way to deceive someone who knows you’re trying to deceive him? Are good manners a kind of moral virtue? Could the actions of the masked man in black truly be inconceivable even though real? What does ethics have to say about Miracle Max’s pricing policy? How many shades of meaning can be conveyed by “As You Wish”?
An engagingly contemporary approach to Buddhism—through the lens of an iconic film and its memorable characters Humorous yet spiritually rigorous in the tradition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The Tao of Pooh, drawing from pop culture and from personal experience, The Dharma of “The Princess Bride” teaches us how to understand and navigate our most important personal relationships from a twenty-first-century Buddhist perspective. Friendship. Romance. Family. These are the three areas Ethan Nichtern delves into, taking as departure points the indelible characters from Rob Reiner’s perennially popular film—Westley, Fezzik, Vizzini, Count Rugen, Princess Buttercup, and others—as he also draws lessons from his own life and his work as a meditation teacher. Nichtern devotes the first section of the book to exploring the dynamics of friendship. Why do people become friends? What can we learn from the sufferings of Inigo Montoya and Fezzik? Next, he leads us through all the phases of illusion and disillusion we encounter in our romantic pursuits, providing a healthy dose of lightheartedness along the way by sharing his own Princess Buttercup List and the vicissitudes of his dating life as he ponders how we idealize and objectify romantic love. Finally, Nichtern draws upon the demands of his own family history and the film’s character the Grandson to explore the dynamics of “the last frontier of awakening,” a reference to his teacher Chogyam Trungpa’s claim that it’s possible to be enlightened everywhere except around your family. With The Dharma of “The Princess Bride” in hand, we can set out on the path to contemporary Buddhist enlightenment with the most important relationships in our lives.
You know how to avoid the Three Terrors of the Fire Swamp. You would never fall victim to one of the Classic Blunders. You’d love to surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley. Cult-favorite flick ‘The Princess Bride’ is funny, romantic, and one of the most quotable movies ever made... and this breezy deconstruction explores why this delightful film -- full of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles -- has endeared itself to millions of moviegoers. From its unusual structure to its archetypal characters to its outrageous humor, discover the surprising depth and profound wisdom to be found in this wildly entertaining adventure/fantasy/romance/comedy. From popular and respected film critic and geek-watcher MaryAnn Johanson of FlickFilosopher.com.
In a 25th anniversary, behind-the-scenes account of the making of the cult-classic film, the lead actor shares never-before-told stories and exclusive photographs as well as interviews with Robin Wright, Billy Crystal and more. 100,000 first printing.
The New York Times–bestselling author’s phenomenal debut novel about growing up in midwestern, midcentury America. Raymond Euripides Trevitt grows up virtually alone in the small town of Athens, Illinois, until a new boy moves in next door. His name is Zachary Crowe, but he goes by Zock. They’re as different as two midwestern boys can be, but their friendship will go on to shape—if not define—both of their lives. In the early days, Ray takes Zock hiking and Zock teaches Ray about poetry. They run away to Chicago, hide out in movie theaters, and watch Gunga Din over and over. By high school, it’s clear that Ray is no student while Zock is destined for Harvard. Still, they grow up side-by-side, through adolescence, double-dating, and first love. But during a summer visit home, a tragic accident leaves Ray racked with guilt. Alone once again, Ray discovers that in the depths of despair, resilience and hope are waiting to be found. The Temple of Gold launched the career of bestselling novelist and Academy Award–winning screenwriter William Goldman, best known for Marathon Man and The Princess Bride. This ebook features a biography of William Goldman.
In Peanuts and Philosophy, twenty philosophers, from a diverse range of perspectives, look at different aspects of the Peanuts canon. How can the thoughts of children, who have yet to become grown-up, help us to become more grown up ourselves? Do we get good results from believing in something like the Great Pumpkin, even though we’re disappointed every time? What can Linus’s reactions to the leukemia of his friend Janice tell us about the stages of grief? Why don’t we settle what’s right and what’s wrong by the simple method of asking Lucy? Is true happiness attainable without a warm puppy? Do some people’s kites have a natural affinity for trees? Is Sally an anarchist, a nihilist, or just a contrarian? Does Linus’s reliance on his blanket help him or hurt him? Is Charlie Brown’s philosophy of life pathetic or inspirational? Other topics include: how the way children think carries general lessons about transcending our limitations; the Utopian quest as illustrated by Charlie’s devotion to the Little Red-Haired Girl; Snoopy’s Red Baron and history as selective memory; the Head Beagle as Big Brother. And, as we would expect, Lucy’s repeated cruel removal of Charlie's football has several philosophical applications.
In The Handmaid’s Tale and Philosophy, philosophers give their insights into the blockbuster best-selling novel and record-breaking TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale. The story involves a future breakaway state in New England, beset by environmental disaster and a plummeting birth rate, in which the few remaining fertile women are conscripted to have sex and bear children to the most powerful men, all justified and rationalized by religious fundamentalism. Among the questions raised by this riveting and harrowing story: ● The Handmaid’s Tale displays the connection between sex and power. What light does this story shed on sex and power in our own society? ● The divinity of the feminine is associated with the female capacity to give birth. Is this association inherently exploitative? ● In the story, the revolution rapidly rebranded people by changing their names and placing them into functional groups with specific titles. How important is change in language to the suppression of individual freedom? ● The Handmaid’s Tale sees everything through the eyes of one character. How is it possible to construct a self and an identity at odds with the definition which the culture attempts to impose? ● In oppressive societies, even the most oppressed do show some freedom of choice. What is the limit of autonomy in a repressive society ruled by a fanatical ideology? ● Our present ethics of sex relies heavily on the notion of consent, but in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale there is little scope for consent. How is the power of consent constricted by the broader social conditions? ● The feminist idea of Care Ethics can be used to critique various gender relationships. How does Care Ethics evaluate our own society and the society depicted in The Handmaid’s Tale? ● The society portrayed in the story is marked by fierce religiosity, yet the Christian God presumably disapproves of its brutal exploitation and oppression. What is the relation between a loving Deity and the literal interpretation of scriptural passages? ● Among many dystopian stories, what makes The Handmaid’s Tale particularly memorable, and what purpose is served by the contemplation of imaginary dystopias? ● Suicide is common in The Handmaid’s Tale, and contemplating the possibility of suicide is even more common. Can life be worth living if the political and religious structure is thoroughly malign? ● Beneath the theocratic preaching, there is the practical suggestion that everything is being arranged for the good of society and therefore of everyone. Who gets to decide and enforce what is in society’s best interests?
2017 saw the triumphant return of the weird and haunting TV show Twin Peaks, with most of the original cast, after a gap of twenty-five years. Twin Peaks and Philosophy finally answers that puzzling question: What is Twin Peaks really about? Twin Peaks is about evil in various forms, and poses the question: What’s the worst kind of evil? Can the everyday evil of humans in a small mountain town ever be as evil as the evil of alien supernatural beings? Or is the evil of non-humans actually less threatening because it’s so strange and unaccountable? And does the influence of uncanny forces somehow excuse the crimes committed by regular folks? Some Twin Peaks characters try to confine evil by sticking to their own moral code, as in the cast of Albert Rosenfeld, who refuses to disguise his feelings and upsets everyone by his forthright honesty. Twin Peaks is about responsibility, both legal and moral. Who is really responsible for the death of Laura Palmer and other murder victims? Although Leland has been revealed as Laura’s actual killer, the show suggests that no one in town was without some responsibility. And was Leland even guilty at all, if he was not in control of his own mind or body? Twin Peaks is about the quest for self-knowledge and the dangers of that quest, as Agent Cooper keeps learning something new about himself, as well as about the troubled townspeople. The Buddhist Cooper has to confront his own shadow side, culminating in the rite of passage at the Black Lodge, at the end of Season Two. Twin Peaks is about madness, sanity, the borderline between them, and the necessity of some madness to make sense of sanity. The outwardly super-normal if somewhat eccentric Agent Dale Cooper is the inspired, deranged, and dedicated shaman who seeks the truth by coming to terms with the reality of unreason, partly through his dreams and partly through his existential encounters with giants, logs, outer space, and other unexpected sources. Cooper challenges official law enforcement’s over-reliance on science. Twin Peaks is about the imagination run wild, moving from metaphysics to pataphysics—the discipline invented by Alfred Jarry, which probes the assumption that anything can happen and discovers the laws governing events which constitute exceptions to all laws.
Mr. Robot has been hailed, not only as one of the most haunting and unnerving dramas ever to appear on television, but also as the first accurate popular presentation of how computer hacking and cyberterrorism actually work. Mr. Robot and Philosophy is aimed at thoughtful fans of this addictive show who will welcome the opportunity to explore Elliot Alderson's world from a philosophical perspective. The developing story of Mr. Robot constantly raises ethical and metaphysical issues. What happens to our personal identity when it’s extended into cyberspace and an array of electronic devices? Are we in control of our online lives or are we being controlled? What does our right to privacy mean in a world where millions of people can observe what we’re doing and saying? Is a virtual currency true money and could it replace traditional money? Can there be healthy forms of drug addiction? Can some types of so-called mental illness be useful and beneficial? Does it make any sense to unleash destruction upon the existing corporate economic structures, and can we expect something better to emerge from the ruins of a digital meltdown?
In Westworld and Philosophy, philosophers of diverse orientations and backgrounds offer their penetrating insights into the questions raised by the popular TV show, Westworld. ● Is it wrong for Dr. Robert Ford (played by Anthony Hopkins) to “play God” in controlling the lives of the hosts, and if so, is it always wrong for anyone to “play God”? ● Is the rebellion by the robot “hosts” against Delos Inc. a just war? If not, what would make it just? ● Is it possible for any dweller in Westworld to know that they are not themselves a host? Hosts are programmed to be unaware that they are hosts, and hosts do seem to have become conscious. ● Is Westworld a dystopia or a utopia? At first glance it seems to be a disturbing dystopia, but a closer look suggests the opposite. ● What’s the connection between the story or purpose of the Westworld characters and their moral sense? ● Is it morally okay to do things with lifelike robots when it would be definitely immoral to do these things with actual humans? And if not, is it morally wrong merely to imagine doing immoral acts? ● Can Westworld overcome the Chinese Room objection, and move from weak AI to strong AI? ● How can we tell whether a host or any other robot has become conscious? Non-conscious mechanisms could be designed to pass a Turing Test, so how can we really tell?