Teaching philosophy with Spider-Man





For years, fans of the Batman comics have puzzled over a mystery at the heart of the series: why doesn't Batman just kill his arch-nemesis, the murderous Joker?

Enter philosopher Immanuel Kant and the deontological theory of ethics.

At least, that's how the discussion progresses in a growing number of philosophy classes in the US.

Cultural and media studies have paved the way for universities to incorporate pop culture into their curriculum. These days it is not uncommon to find a television studies class alongside 17th-Century literature in the course listings of an English department.

Now, philosophy professors are finding superheroes and comic books to be exceptionally useful tools in helping students think about the complex moral and ethical debates that have occupied philosophers for centuries....


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