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Palgrave Macmillan

The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy

  • Living reference work
  • © 2020


  • Includes film, television, games, graphic novels and comedians

  • Seeks to promote and legitimise the use of popular culture as philosophical work

  • Will appeal to students looking to bring their favourite pop culture into course work

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Table of contents (96 entries)


About this book

Much philosophical work on pop culture apologises for its use; using popular culture is a necessary evil, something merely useful for reaching the masses with important philosophical arguments. But works of pop culture are important in their own right--they shape worldviews, inspire ideas, change minds. We wouldn't baulk at a book dedicated to examining the philosophy of The Great Gatsby or 1984--why aren't Star Trek and Superman fair game as well? After all, when produced, the former were considered pop culture just as much as the latter. This will be the first major reference work to right that wrong, gathering together entries on film, television, games, graphic novels and comedy, and officially recognizing the importance of the field. It will be the go-to resource for students and researchers in philosophy, culture, media and communications, English and history and will act as a springboard to introduce the reader to the other key literature in the field.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Philosophy, King's College, Wilkes Barre, USA

    David Kyle Johnson

  • University School of Milwaukee, Waukesha, USA

    Dean A. Kowalski

  • Young Harris College, Young Harris, USA

    Chris Lay

  • Rockville Centre, NewYork, USA

    Kimberly S. Engels

About the editors

David Kyle Johnson is Professor of Philosophy at Kings College, Pennsylvania, US. He has published extensively on philosophy and popular culture. His books include The Myths that Stole Christmas: Seven Misconceptions that Hijacked the Holiday (Humanist Press, 2015), Inception and Philosophy: Because It’s Never Just a Dream (editor) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) (This book has been translated into Chinese and is also available on, Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture: From Socrates to South Park, Hume to House (co-editor) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010) and Heroes and Philosophy: Buy the Book, Save the World (editor) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). Johnson also presents a series of e-lectures on pop culture as philosophy for The Great Courses, a part of the Teaching Company. He has appeared on The Huffington Post Live, presented on his book Inception and Philosophy for the Authors@Google program at Google headquarters and writes a Blog for Psychology Today.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy

  • Editors: David Kyle Johnson, Dean A. Kowalski, Chris Lay, Kimberly S. Engels

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Literature, Cultural and Media Studies, Reference Module Humanities and Social Sciences, Reference Module Humanities

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-97134-6Due: 01 April 2024

  • Topics: Popular Culture , Philosophy, general

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