Editorial Reviews. Review. "Superman's costume always bugged me when I was a kid So you need a secret identity – cool. But what's the deal with all the. Chicago, Ill.: Open Court, - Popular culture and philosophy ; v. 13 pages, , English, Book, 14 & Possibly online. Superheroes and philosophy: truth. tom-morris-superheroes-and-philosophy-truth-justice-and-the-socratic-way - Unknown Transitional Truth and Historical Justice - Philosophy Documentation .
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[Ebook pdf] Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the Socratic Way ( Popular Culture and. Philosophy). Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice. Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the American Way by Tom Morris and Matt Morris, Editors and Comics as Philosophy by Jeff. Superheroes and Philosophy: Truth, Justice, and the. AmericanWay. Tom Morris and Matt Morris, Editors. Chicago,. IL: Open Court Publishing Company,
Download preview PDF. List of references Bainbridge, Jason.
New York: Routledge. Google Scholar Coogan, Peter. Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre. Austin: MonkeyBrain Books. Google Scholar Eco, Umberto. The Myth of Superman. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. Google Scholar Garrett, Greg. Holy Superheroes!
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Google Scholar Kaveney, Roz. Why Be Moral? This essay will look deeper at that very question and highlight the problems it inevitably brings up. Before embarking on this analysis, a caveat is necessary to explain the choice of superhero being used here, namely Spider-Man.
The basic premise of his story is simple: teenager Peter Parker is bestowed superhuman, spider-like abilities due to a bite from a radioactive spider. When he refuses to stop a robber with his new-found powers, the same robber kills his uncle Ben.
Guilt-ridden, Peter adopts the persona of Spider-Man and starts to fight crime Lee, The details of the plot change according to the various iterations, but the basics remain the same with some exceptions highlighted later in the essay. The former allows for a more in-depth look at morality by allowing comparisons within what is essentially the same story. This is opposed to Superman, who is an alien, Batman, whose economic standing places him in a unique position, and the X-Men, who spend their lives isolated amongst other superhumans, interacting with the world only when they save it.
Thus, he is the most realistic superhero in that anyone can pursue his eutopian goals if the scientific explanation of the spider-bite can be rationalised of course without having to be born or raised in unique circumstances. The crux of this question is considering why a superhero chooses to help others in the first place. If we are to look at this using political thought, there are two main ways to go about it.
The utilitarian argument would be that Spider-Man uses his abilities for a good cause because that provides the greatest overall happiness Robichaud, p. As an extension of this position, we can reasonably suggest that by making society safer, Peter is not only helping others but he is also helping himself by keeping his friends and family safe Evans, pp. A good example of this argument is near the final scene in the first Spider-Man film.
The antagonist, Green Goblin, forces Spider-Man to choose between saving his long-time love interest Mary Jane Watson and a cable car full of children.
By using his superpowers in the best way possible, Spider-Man achieves the optimum outcome and saves both Mary Jane and the children. He chooses the option which results in the greatest possible benefit Raimi, This is an objective, rational approach whereby the success of a choice is determined by its outcome.
By focussing on the consequences of the action, rather than the motivation behind it, utilitarianism manages to somewhat deproblematise the issue of morality. However, the situation is not that simple. Even looking at the previous dilemma provided by the Green Goblin, Spider-Man would have chosen to jump after the cable car first and Mary Jane second instead of saving her first as he did in the film in case he was unable to complete both tasks, as that would result in fewer losses of life Raimi, This, unfortunately, brings us back to the heart of the problem without really shedding any helpful light on it.
We can perhaps understand why Spider-Man acts the way he does but it still hinges on him being morally sound. Unlike professionals who help others due to the monetary benefits such as doctors or lawyers and unlike people with direct emotional links to those they help such as a mother cooking food for her children , Spider-Man usually helps strangers, though some situations result in him needing to save those he personally cares about Keeping, p.
As far as his origin story is concerned, there is a deterministic element to his motivations. In the original comic series, some new incarnations like Ultimate Spider-Man Bendis, , and the Sam Raimi films, Peter initially uses his abilities for personal profit by becoming a professional wrestler. In the Marc Webb film, Peter refuses to help a grocery store clerk stop a thief because he had been forbidden from exchanging money from the tip jar earlier on. In all cases, on his way back home, he finds out that his uncle, who was out looking for him, did try to stop the thief, as a result of which he was shot and killed.
Guilt-ridden over his inaction and inspired by the morality his uncle had always practiced, Peter chooses to become Spider-Man. Thus, his origin story places a pre-fated morality on him Brenzel, pp. Comparisons to alternative versions of Spider-Man further highlight this pre-determined morality. In this particular case, he does not attempt to hide his identity either, basking in his superheroic aura as a central part of his existence rather than as an alter-ego Bendis, Log in to Wiley Online Library.
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Old Password. New Password. Your password has been changed.This is an objective, rational approach whereby the success of a choice is determined by its outcome. Another iteration of Spider-Man is the What If…? As far as his origin story is concerned, there is a deterministic element to his motivations.
Get access to the full version of this article. Google Scholar Maggin, Elliot S.
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The common thread running through all of these versions of Spider-Man is the issue of morality, or, more specifically, of moral luck. Rowling and applied them to lessons in leadership and ethics. Google Scholar Coogan, Peter.