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Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy: Brains Before Bullets (Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 18. Oktober 2013

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Are we right to admire members of a criminal organization?
Are the Sons of Anarchy really anarchists?
How does their relationship to their bikes help to shape the Sons' moral code?
Does membership in the MC tend to foster virtue or vice?
How do the club's practices and moral code make it like a religion?
FX's hit television series Sons of Anarchy draws viewers into the morally ambiguous world of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club, where standard societal conventions and authority are shunned and replaced with a moral framework based on the bonds of brotherhood, family, and community and where members frequently war with other outlaw groups and the federal government to protect their interests and those of their home base, the town of Charming, California. Featuring essays by philosophical fans of the show and drawing on the ideas of some of history's greatest philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Marx, and Nietzsche, Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy digs deep into the moral and political aspects of life in the MC - the ethics of loyalty, honor, and revenge, individual and group identity, the morality of war and terrorism, political authority, and religion.
Essential reading for fans of the show, this book takes readers deeper into the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, the Teller-Morrow family, and the ethics that surround their lives and activities.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

George A. Dunn is a lecturer at the University of Indianapolis and Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, China, and a writer on pop culture and philosophy. He is an editor of The Hunger Games and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) and True Blood and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and has contributed chapters to many other books in the Blackwell Philosophy & Pop Culture series, including books on Terminator, Iron Man, Battlestar Galactica, and Mad Men.
Jason T. Eberl is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is the editor of Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008) and co-editor (with Kevin S. Decker) of Star Wars and Philosophy (2005) and Star Trek and Philosophy (2008). He has also written essays for similar volumes on Harry Potter, Metallica, Stanley Kubrick, The Hunger Games, Terminator, and Avatar.

William Irwin is Professor of Philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including Superman and Philosophy, Black Sabbath and Philosophy, and Spider-Man and Philosophy.

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26 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Eye-opener! 22. Januar 2014
Von J.A. Michaels - Spiritualist | Philosopher | Martial Artist | Author - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I've worn a patch on my back for a long time, now. Needless to say, I have become a bit of a fan of SOA. Some of the show's content, I'm not always pleased with, because it makes us all look like a bunch of bloodthirsty outlaws, but that hasn't kept me from watching. I've used this show as a bit of a warning over the years, just keeping my eyes open for what might be.

That being said, I found this book to be a far better aid at understanding what could cause people to walk down such a violent road, and even see some familiar mile stones in the words of the great philosophers of times past.

I have already recommended this to the officers of every chapter, so that we can all have an open discussion about what traits we currently display, and where it might lead us, learning from greater minds than our own.

If you are a fan of the show, you will enjoy this book. If you are the member of a club, you will learn from this book. If you are not well versed on dealings with bikers, club guys or not, remember that this show is interesting because it is extreme. Most of us never get anywhere near this out of control.
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Vroom.... vrooom vrooom.... VRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!! 9. September 2013
Von John V. Karavitis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf

A quality entry in Wiley-Blackwell's philosophy and popular culture series, marred by a few blemishes. The essays made me appreciate the "Sons of Anarchy" series, which I have never seen. Coming away from this collection of essays, I also feel as though I know the series as well as anyone who has actually done so.

Five sections, 20 essays total. The writing was conversational and flowed well. The essays cover a wide range of philosophical topics, including two essays on feminism; two on the philosophy of history (finally!); and the philosophy of anarchism was covered, and also referenced, throughout. Freud and Marx made appearances, as well as the usual cast of characters (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle), along with contemporary philosophers. We even get a view of the Homeric ideal of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and how the MC (motorcycle club) extols similar virtues. The creator(s) of this series must have had a classical education, as the themes of Agamemnon's assassination and revenge by his son Oretes, along with Shakespeare's Hamlet, are reflected in the histories and actions of the main characters of Sons of Anarchy. The wide philosophical coverage herein attests not only to the wide popularity of this series, but also to the richness of topics inherent within. That is, the Sons of Anarchy presents many philosophical issues, and has an audience large enough to get enough viewers with a background in philosophy to craft stellar essays. (I can imagine the flood of responses that the call for abstracts must have resulted in.) This collection of essays is a success in large part due to the richness of the material in the series, and its wide popularity. Given enough submitted abstracts, there was no way for this book not to have been stellar.


Editor George Dunn's essay escaped the "curse of the book's editor," yet I felt that, by jumping around from one philosopher to the next early on, and by melding Eastern and Western philosophers, it lacked initial grounding, as though it were trying to find its direction. Jason Eberl, by hewing close to Aristotle and his Nicomachean Ethics, fared much better.

Peter S. Fosl's essay was a bit too casual and tongue in cheek for my taste. That is, there were points when it appeared to be a bit too "cute." Fosl seemed too eager to draw parallels of names in the series to historical events, like in Catholic school where everything in a movie is a "Christ figure." The "rhymes with 'sit'" word appears at the top of p. 195; and I wasn't aware, as Note # 13 would have us believe, that there are hundreds of versions of Christianity. Really? I'd like to see the reference for that factoid.

Alex Leveringhaus' essay tried to apply just war theory to the motorcycle club. It focused on whether the motorcycle club could be said to have the "right authority" to declare war on another motorcycle club. First off, as noted in this essay (p. 101), Clay Morrow, one of the founding members of the Sons of Anarchy, acknowledges that they are American citizens. That pretty much ends the argument right there, and thus no need to dance around the subject until the very end. Second, revealing that the British knock and wait to be admitted before entering a room, as opposed to Germans who "barge right in" (Mr. Leveringhaus is German, so he MUST know!) was a nonsensical example of characteristics that distinguish groups from one another. Third, and I can't believe this happened, as, per Note # 28, both Mssrs. Dunn and Eberl, the book's editors, made "excellent comments on earlier drafts" of this essay, it is stated on p. 97 that "SAMCRO's home state of California, for instance, isn't sovereign, as it's under the authority of the federal government." WRONG. The United States, a federal republic, is the creation of the states, which are themselves sovereign. The sovereign states grant the federal government certain responsibilities and duties, and per the Tenth Amendment to the federal constitution, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Shame on you philosophers! Did you get your degrees by sending in cereal box tops to a P.O. Box in Minnesota??? But most of all, fourth, shame on you for not mentioning Hugo Grotius, the 17th-century Dutch philosopher who defined just war theory. (Do the Germans not like the Dutch? I do!)

References to other current popular culture books or movies are uncalled for (pp. 14, 36, and 216). I can understand and accept pointing to Shakespeare's Hamlet, the parallels are beyond obvious, but referring to current pop culture outside of the book's subject matter is a no-no.

Finally, there were just too many instances of missing words, missing punctuation, typos, etc. However, even given all of these blemishes, there is a great coverage of philosophical issues, and Sons of Anarchy has, if nothing else, a ton of issues. The collection is worth five stars (you can tattoo that on your upper arm, or just put it on your patch!). John V. Karavitis
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fun and thought-provoking 9. November 2013
Von Malvin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
"Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy" enables fans of the popular TV series to get more from their viewing experience by drawing timeless lessons from the great philosophers of history. The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series creatively blend the highbrow with the lowbrow in order to educate, enlighten and entertain. The twenty essays in this excellent collection are written by academics whose knowledge of philosophy and enthusiasm for the SOA is contagious.

The book is divided into five sections including ethics, politics, identity, gender and history. Learning how philosophy can yield insights into the people, places and events of the SOA enhances our appreciation for the series in unexpected ways. For example, Andrea Zanin applies Freudian psychoanalysis to deconstruct Jax's relationship with Gemma. Does Jax allow his meddlesome mother access to his family because of his subconscious desire for pleasure? These are the sorts of intriguing questions that bring new perspectives to SOA while proving how philosophy can be relevant to our lives.

I highly recommend this fun and thought-provoking book to everyone.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Explains meanings of the popular series 29. November 2013
Von Citizen John - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I enjoyed the essays in this book. Each essay is unique and stands on its own. The three editor-authors are experienced in relating philosophy to popular culture and do it well.

In the essays, there is analysis of the show's plots, themes and characters. References are made to philosophical works that are normally covered in university courses. I had already watched the first three seasons of the show, and believe the book enhances the actual series tenfold.

Sons of Anarchy is meant to inspire deep thought about life's greater questions. It also has so much gratuitous and extreme violence as to nearly add a touch of comedy. I'm personally of the belief that about four or five actors in the series are responsible for the show's success, with the intellectual components almost deceptively woven in. But these intellectual components are what gives the show enough meaning to run for at least six seasons.

Anybody that cares about the show will probably appreciate this book. There is also a nearly infinite supply of grist in the essays to inspire others to write even better shows.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A book for JT, not Clay 23. Mai 2014
Von Dream Beast - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
In this collection of essays, writers explain the ideas of famous philosophers using examples from the TV series Sons of Anarchy. The book attracted my attention because I'm a fan of the series. I was surprised and delighted to discover lucid writing that doesn't oversimplify ideas or patronize readers and yet manages to entertain. These are referenced essays with in-text citations, footnotes, or endnotes. The book could be used as a supplementary text in a freshman college course. In case you missed Introduction to Philosophy in college, here's a chance to catch up. If you know and enjoy philosophy, even better.

The essays cover ethics, politics, identity, and gender issues. Some examples:

"Tig Needs an Escort Home: Is Loyalty a Virtue?" examines SAMCRO's protection of Tig after he kills the daughter of Gangster Damon Pope while retaliating for what he believes was an attack on Clay. Because of his act, several people will die, including his own daughter and Opie Winston (one of my favorite characters in the series.) The author cites Aristotle, Kant, Hume, and less well-known philosophers to make the argument that while loyalty binds the club together, it doesn't always lead them to do the right thing.

Another favorite, "Once a Biker Slut, Always a Biker Slut: Narrative Identity in Charming" analyses the evolution of Tara Knowles to explore questions of personal identity. The surgeon we meet in Season One is radically different Jax's old lady in Season Three. So who is Tara? What defines her?

"Chaos and Order: Anarchy in the MC" questions whether the Sons fit the philosophical definition of anarchists. Other essays take on the story's Freudian elements, Jax's Machiavellian politics, and the place of women in the MC.
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