Just finished a recreational book, though my mind was challenged at the same time. (Guys, it’s good to continue to challenge our minds in new areas.) The book is called Seinfeld & Philosophy: A Book about Everything & Nothing. Thank you Claridge’s for the book!
A bunch of philosophy professors got together and wrote a series of essays on how the show Seinfeld illustrates some of the great philosophies of history.
For example, there were four essays on the four main characters.
- Seinfeld — Comparing the real comedian and his fictional character to the relationship between Socrates & Plato (i.e. if Plato wrote everything we know about Socrates, how do we know where Socrates ends & Plato begins?)
- George — Analyzing his ineptitude and general dissatisfaction in life with Aristotle’s idea of "the many" man (as opposed to "the wise" man)
- Elaine — Analyzing whether or not she is a good representation of the aspirations of the modern feminist movement
- Kramer — Seeing him as the personification of the 1st of 3 stages of man proposed by Kierkegaard called the "aesthetic" (or pleasure-seeking) man
- A Show About Nothing — Wondering what philosophy would say about Seinfeld being a show about nothing. Parmenides believed nothingness couldn’t exist. Socrates/Plato believed nothingness does exist. Taoism believes nothingness not only exists, but cannot be described, is the foundation for everything, & is the lifestyle to be aspired. (Whew!) 🙂
- A Show Where Characters Never Change — Demonstrating that Nietzsche’s view of time & change (i.e. the universe is a never-ending recurrence of the same events ) does not explain the Seinfeld universe. Rather, Plato’s view of time & change better explains it (i.e. the universe consists of unchanging archetypal "forms," like the four Seinfeld characters which never change their essences, no matter where you see them in time).
That’s the first half of the book. I think you get the picture. Interesting, huh? 🙂 There are other books in the series including: