New Book 'South Park and Philosophy: You Know I Learned Something Today' Takes a Look at American Pop Culture and TV Series

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"You Can't Get Married, You're Faggots: Mrs. Garrison and the Gay Marriage Debate" (chapter 13) and "They Satirized My Prophet .... Those Bastards: South Park and Blasphemy" (chapter 12) are just two of the 22 funny essays written by noted American Philosophers in Blackwell Publishing's new book, "South Park and Philosophy: You Know I Learned Something Today," editor, Robert Arp, December 15, 2006.

"You Can't Get Married, You're Faggots: Mrs. Garrison and the Gay Marriage Debate" (chapter 13) and "They Satirized My Prophet .... Those Bastards: South Park and Blasphemy" (chapter 12) are just two of the 22 funny essays written by noted American Philosophers in Blackwell Publishing's new book "South Park and Philosophy: You Know I Learned Something Today," editor, Robert Arp, December 15, 2006.

As the show celebrates its tenth season, the book recognizes the fact that South Park is really a philosophical show that deals with all kinds of important issues in American Pop Culture.

"This book celebrates Free Speech," says Robert Arp, a visiting professor at Florida State University and editor of the book. "The book is also a mirror of our culture, and 'South Park' is willing to say offensive things in a hyper-politically correct society."

"It's time to take the show seriously," says Bill Irwin, co-editor of Blackwell Publishing's Philosophy and Pop Culture Series and associate professor at Kings College. "The book tries to take people from South Park to philosophy, which isn't hard to do."

"Vote or Die, Bitch: the Myth That Every Vote Counts and the Pitfalls of a Two-Party System" (chapter 11) is one of the more political essays written by noted American philosophers in the book.    

The book covers all five branches of philosophy including Metaphysics, Epistemology, Logic, Social and Ethics. For example, Catherine Yu takes a look at ethics in her essay, "Is It Okay to Laugh at South Park?" (Chapter 2) In it, she looks at when it is fitting to laugh at something and when it is morally wrong to laugh at something. "Might there be something morally perverse about laughing at cripple fights and Starvin' Marvin's starving family? Or, is it all just moral prudishness to even suggest that it might be so?" writes Yu.

Additionally, writer Jacob Held holds to the principles of social philosophy as he takes on the hot button of gay marriage in his essay, "You Can't Get Married; You're Faggots; Mrs. Garrison and the Gay Marriage Debate." Held says, about the arguments, "They usually miss the point, are entirely irrelevant, or are just bad arguments."

Arp notes that the book shows the common thread between "South Park" and philosophy -- both are concerned with extremist fanatical views and the damage these views can do to a society's way of thinking.

Other contributing philosophers in "South Park and Philosophy: You Know I Learned Something Today" address hard-hitting questions like "Is Dan Rather real?", "Should big Gay Al be allowed to marry Mr. Slave?" and "What does philosophy have to do with flatulence?"

"Believe it or not, the goal of both South Park and philosophy is to discover truth and make the world a better place to live. The difference is that philosophy usually takes a less shocking approach in getting people to think critically about themselves, their beliefs and reality," said Arp.

About Blackwell Publishing

Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with 665 medical, academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and has over 6,000 books in print. The company remains independent with over 1,000 staff members in offices in the US, UK, Australia, China, Singapore, Denmark, Germany and Japan. Blackwell's mission as an expert publisher is to create long-term partnerships with our clients that enhance learning, disseminate research and improve the quality of professional practice. For more information on Blackwell Publishing, please visit http://www.blackwellpublishing.com or http://www.blackwell-synergy.com.

For more information and review copies contact Elisa Keys (201) 313-3794 or send an e-mail.

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Elisa Keys
The Media News Group
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