There will soon be a new regular feature to the CatholicSkywalker blog: "The Philosophy of..."
As someone who is entrenched in the pop culture, I am well aware of the perils of being so moved by a movie or story that I can overlook some of the implications, particularly moral implication, of what I experience.
I remember being a kid standing on the coffee table singing and dancing along with the rest of the T-Birds to "Greased Lightning" as Grease played on the VCR (and yes I can still do the dance). It wasn't until I got much older and understood the lyrics that I realized the jaw-droppingly innapropriatness of what I was doing.
Every piece of art, no matter how seemingly inconsequential has a point of view, and therefore a philosophy. CS Lewis once said that art (particularly story) has a way of entering into our minds in a way that bypasses the analytical part of our brains and gives a direct experience of the the thing. Music is particularly effective at this.
I am not talking about unearthing "hidden agendas," but coming to understand what the art is trying to say. This is not meant to remove the enjoyment from something, like trying desperately to explain a joke, but to deepen it when possible. Looking at the philosophy of a movie like Grease may lead us to turn more critical eye to its message. But exploring the deeper elements of Lord of the Rings may only enhance our appreciation.
The philosophies of pop culture do influence us for good or ill. I wrote about how Krull changed my perspective on love. My favorite movie, Return of the Jedi, showed me something I did not expect as a child. I used to think that the hero was the one who fights the bad guy. But that is not the philosophy of heroism Return of the Jedi shows. It is something much bigger. And the truth of that shaped a lot of my childhood.
In each post we will explore the 4 sides of Philosophy. To recap they are:
Metaphysics: The study of what exists.
Anthropology: The study of human nature.
Epistemology: The study of how we come to know things.
Ethics: The study of how we should act.
So we will be exploring things like the philosophy of:
Wizard of Oz
The Big Bang Theory
The Dark Knight
I am happy to take requests as well. Simply
-comment on one of the posts
-email me at CatholicSkywalker@gmail.com
-send me a tweet @CatholicSkywalk
I should get the first post out within the week.