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Batman Superman and Philosophy - Badass or Boyscout? - cover

Batman Superman and Philosophy - Badass or Boyscout?

Nicolas Michaud

Publisher: Open Court

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Summary

Batman or Superman? Which of these heroic figures is morally superior? Which is more dramatically effective? Which is more democratic?  Which shows us the better way to fight crime? Who is a morally better person? Whose actions lead to the better outcomes?Superman vs. Batman and Philosophy tries to decide “for” and “against” these two superheroes by comparing their contrasting approaches to a wide range of issues. Twenty-six philosophers evaluate Superman vs. Batman in order to decide which of them “wins” by various different criteria. Some of the writers say that Superman wins, others say Batman, and others give the result as a tie.Since both Batman, the megalomaniacal industrialist, and Superman, the darling of the media, sometimes operate outside the law, which of them makes the better vigilante—and how do they compare with Robin Hood, the anonymous donor, the Ninja, and the KKK? Which of them comes out better in terms of evolutionary biology? Which of the heroes works more effectively to resist oppression? Does Superman or Batman function better as a force for embodied intelligence? Who does more to really uphold the law? Which one is better for the environment? Which of these two supernormal guys makes a better model and inspiring myth to define our culture and our society?Is Batman or Superman the more admirable person? Who conforms more closely to Nietzsche’s Übermensch? Which one makes the more rational choices? Who makes the better god? Who is more self-sacrificing in pursuit of other people’s welfare? Who goes beyond the call of duty? Which one does better at defining himself by resolving his internal conflicts? Whose explicit code of morality is superior?  Which superhero gives us more satisfying dramatic conflict? (And why does a battle between the two make such a compelling drama?)Which of our two candidates comes closer to Christ? Which has the sounder psychological health? Whose overall consequences are better for the world? Which one more perfectly exemplifies C.S. Lewis’s concept of chivalry? What’s the deeper reason Batman is so successful in videogames whereas Superman isn’t? What are the advantages and disadvantages of having the two extraordinary heroes work together? Is either superhero logically or metaphysically possible? How can each of them be diagnosed as psychotic? How do they compare in masking their real identity? Whose motives are more worthy? Which one is more self-aware?Superman vs. Batman and Philosophy comes out at the same time as the movie Batman v Superman. The book cannot discuss what goes on in the movie, yet it also can’t avoid doing so, since by sheer probability, many of the controversial issues between the two superheroes will be the same in both.  The book will therefore naturally fit in with the numerous raging controversies that the movie unleashes.

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