Watchmen and Philosophy

Watchmen and Philosophy : A Rorschach Test

Edited by William Irwin , Edited by Mark D. White


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Alan Moore's Watchmen is set in 1985 and chronicles the alternative history of the United States where the US edges dangerously closer to nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Within this world exists a group of crime busters, who don elaborate costumes to conceal their identity and fight crime, and an intricate plot to kill and discredit these "superheroes." Alan Moore's Watchmen popularized the graphic novel format, has been named one of Time magazine's top 100 novels, and is now being made into a highly anticipated movie adaptation. This latest book in the popular Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series peers into Moore's deeply philosophical work to parse and deconstruct the ethical issues raised by Watchmen's costumed adventurers, their actions, and their world. From nuclear destruction to utopia, from governmental authority to human morality and social responsibility, it answers questions fans have had for years about Watchmen's ethical quandaries, themes, and characters.

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  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • 01 Feb 2009
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester
  • English
  • 0470396857
  • 9780470396858
  • 108,019

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Author Information

Mark D. White is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy at the College of Staten Island/CUNY and coeditor of Batman and Philosophy . William Irwin is a 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 Batman and Philosophy , House and Philosophy , and Watchmen and Philosophy .

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Back cover copy

Can we justify Ozymandias's grand plan? Does Dr. Manhattan really know what's going to happen in the future? Is the Comedian actually a comedian (or just a jerk)? Can either Silk Spectre be considered a feminist? Does Nite Owl's paunch actually make him virtuous? Watchmen is the most critically acclaimed graphic novel ever published and turned the world of comic superheroes on its head. This masterpiece of realistic storytelling, dialogue, and artwork, courtesy of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, raises a host of compelling philosophical questions. How do Ozymandias and Rorschach justify their actions? What are the political ramifications of the Comedian's work for the government? How do we explain the nature of Dr. Manhattan? And can a graphic novel be considered literature? Whether you're reading Watchmen for the first time or have been a fan for more than twenty years, "Watchmen and Philosophy" will help you read deeper into the philosophical questions and the revolutionary story that changed comic fiction forever.

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Flap copy

Series Editor: William Irwin Edited By Mark D. White Watchmen and Philosophy {A Rorschach Test} Blackwell Philosophy And Pop Culture Series This book has not been approved, licensed, or sponsored by any entity or person involved in creating or producing Watchmen, the comics, graphic novel, or film.

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