Book: Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka, Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside

Posted: 9 de August de 2011 by Fernando Furtado in Book

Book: Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka, Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside; Chicago, LaSalle: Open Court Publishing/Popular Culture and Philosophy (December 2010) ISBN # 978-0-8126-9688-2

This book is fun and serious philosophy, addressing philosophical issues in the longest-running science fiction show in history, the British seriesDoctor Who. Issues discussed in the book include: personal identity—is the Doctor the same person after he’s regenerated? We’re on the 11th incarnation now; philosophy of science—all that “wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey…stuff”; ethics—what are the ethics of a Time Lord? Should the Daleks be exterminated? Are Cybermen really evil?; existence—what can a Time Lord teach us about living our lives?; aesthetics—the beauty of the Daleks and the horror of the Weeping Angels; and culture—the effects of Doctor Who on British culture in particular and human culture more generally.


Bonuses: “Would you like a Jelly Baby? Words of Wisdom from Doctor Who”—a set of favorite quotations submitted by contributors and a complete list of episodes and companions.


“Opening this book is like opening the door to the TARDIS: we get to spend time with our favorite incarnations of the Doctor whether the First, the Fourth, the Eleventh, or Doctor-Donna, and ponder what it means to travel through time, grow a new personality, fall in love, sacrifice for a greater good, and experience the cosmos for all the wonder it is. Really, Doctor Who and Philosophy is even better than a Sonic Screwdriver.”

—Josef Steiff, Professor of Film at Columbia College Chicago and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking


“Lewis and Smithka have done all sapient species a brilliant service by introducing Doctor Who and Philosophy into the time continuum. Like the Doctor’s human companions, we get to travel through a universe of Big Ideas with a caring, clever, and, yes, conflicted friend. Next to a real TARDIS swooping down and carrying us off, nothing could beat the experience of reading this book.”

—Patrick D. Hopkins, editor of Sex/Machine


“An intriguing collection of essays that examines Doctor Who from every philosophical angle imaginable. Do you want theories and contradictions of time travel? It’s in there. Do you want a deep examination of the nature of identity, as understood through the Doctor and his regenerative ability? It’s in there, too, and it is considered from a variety of philosophical approaches. And so is much, much more. Lewis and Smithka have assembled a fascinating anthology, one that all Who fans, media scholars, and armchair philosophers should want on their shelves.”

—Chris Hansen, editor of Ruminations, Peregrinations, and Regenerations: A Critical Approach to Doctor Who


Paula Smithka, Associate Professor
Dept. of Philosophy and Religion
University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5015
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001

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