Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Watch, Therefore I Am by Gregory Bergman and Peter Archer

cover of I Watch, Therefore I Am by Gregory Bergman and Peter Archer
When I was in college, one of my favorite courses was on the philosophy of ethics. Since then, I have always found the topic of ethics and philosophy interesting. In my writing courses, I devote a class to professional ethics. So when I saw I Watch, Therefore I Am by Gregory Bergman and Peter Archer in the library, I was very excited. Who wouldn't want to see the connection between philosophical principles and television? Whenever I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation, I would pay special attention to the ethical issues that would confront the crew of the Enterprise. I thought that's what I Watch, Therefore I Am would do, talk about the philosophical issues presented in series television.

Imagine then, my disappointment when I discovered that the book gave a very quick and superficial overview of different philosophical ideologies while making a rather lame connection to some television show. I think in most cases the connections between the philosophical principle and the show was rather tenuous. For example, the authors made a connection between All in the Family and faith and reason. I was hard pressed to see the connection or to see how the example dialog illustrated anything about faith. The book is extremely quick and easy to read because there isn't much depth, and there are blank pages between most of the chapters. If you are looking for something entertaining or that looks at the philosophical elements in a particular show, you will probably be disappointed with I Watch, Therefore I Am. I know that I was.

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