Downton Abbey and Philosophy: Thinking in That Manor

Downton Abbey and Philosophy: Thinking in That Manor

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In Downton Abbey and Philosophy, twenty-two professional thinkers uncover the deeper significance of this hugely popular TV saga. Millions of viewers throughout the world have been enthralled by this enactment of a vanished world of decorum and propriety, because it presents us with emotional and interpersonal problems that remain urgent for people in the twenty-first century.

Why do we attach such importance to our memories and to particular places? What do war and epidemics tell us about life in peacetime and in good health? Is it healthy or harmful for people to feel that they know their place? What does Downton Abbey teach us about the changes in women’s roles since 1912? Do good manners always agree with good morals? How can everybody know what no one will talk about? What’s the justification for a class of people who pride themselves on not having a job? Should we sometimes just accept the reality of social barriers to love, and abandon the pursuit? What happens when community reinforces oppression?

All of these and many other issues are discussed through a detailed examination of the actual characters and situations in Downton Abbey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812699036
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/20/2015
Series: Popular Culture and Philosophy , #95
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Adam Barkman is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Redeemer University College, Ontario. His published books include C.S. Lewis and Philosophy as a Way of Life (2009); The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott (co-edited with Ashley Barkman and Nancy Kang, 2013); and Manga and Philosophy (co-edited with Joseph Steiff, 2010). He lives in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

Robert Arp holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He is the author of Scenario Visualization (2008) and co-author of three books including What's Good on TV (2011) and Philosophy DeMYSTifieD (2001). He is the editor of 1001 Ideas that Changed the Way We Think (2013) and co-editor of at least a dozen other books, including Batman and Philosophy (2008), South Park and Philosophy: You Know I Learned Something Today (2006), and Breaking Bad and Philosophy (2012). He lives in Overland Park, KS.

Table of Contents

Of the Simple and Complex ix

I Finding Your Place 1

1 Finding the Meaning of Life in Downton Abbey Kimberly Blessing 3

2 I May Be a Socialist, But I'm Not a Lunatic Joseph Walderzak 13

3 Matthew's Dark Side James Wills 25

4 Finding One's Place and Being Useful John V. Karavitis 35

II Minding Manners and Making Do 49

5 The Morality of Manners Kathleen Poorman Dougherty 51

6 Keeping It under Control Andrew P. Mills 61

7 Disabled at Downton Aaron Richmond 71

III What Can We Know? 79

8 Lie Is So Unmusical a Word Courtney Neal 81

9 Why Did Lady Sybil Die? Matthias Egg 89

10 Does Bates Know Who Raped Anna? Clara Nisley Thomas Nisley 99

11 What Mary Didn't Know Tamas Demeter 107

IV Change and Memory 117

12 Should We Really Care about the Crawleys? Tim Jones 119

13 Topophilia; or, How We Got Hooked on Downton Lucy Elvis 129

14 Things Can Happen that Nobody Could Imagine Only a Few Years Ago Donna Marie Smith 139

15 Memories. In the End, Is That All There Is? David Larocca 151

16 Female Integrity in Times of Change Melanie Abbott 163

17 Downton Abbey as Eternal Recurrence Christopher Ketcham 171

V War 181

18 Wondering What It's All For Trip McCrossin 183

19 Of Downton and Drones Jai Galliott 195

20 Masters and Servants and Soldiers Carl Sobocinski 205

VI Love and Belief 215

21 God-Talk at the Abbey Samuel Klumpenhouwer 217

22 Lady Edith and the Trials of the Modern Woman Gordon Hawkes 227

23 Justice in Love Adam Barkman Noah Van Brenk 239

24 Climbing the Ladder of Love Brendan Shea 249

References 259

Household Staff 264

Index 271

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