The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Aristotle, Locke
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A lighthearted meditation on the philosophical quandaries of the hit television show The Big Bang Theory
Ever wonder what Aristotle might say about the life Sheldon Cooper leads? Why Thomas Hobbes would applaud the roommate agreement? Who Immanuel Kant would treat with "haughty derision" for weaving "un-unravelable webs?" And—most importantly—whether Wil Wheaton is truly evil? Of course you have. Bazinga!
This book mines the deep thinking of some of history's most potent philosophical minds to explore your most pressing questions about The Big Bang Theory and its nerdy genius characters. You might find other philosophy books on science and cosmology, but only this one refers to Darth Vader Force-chokes, cloning Leonard Nimoy, and oompa-loompa-like engineers. Fo-shizzle.
- Gives you irresistibly geek-worthy insights on your favorite Big Bang Theory characters, story lines, and ideas
- Examines important themes involving ethics and virtue, science, semiotics, religion, and the human condition
- Brings the thinking of some of the world's greatest philosophers to bear on The Big Bang Theory, from Aristotle and Plato to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Simone de Beauvoir, and more
Essential reading for every Big Bang Theory fan, this book explores whether comic-book-wielding geeks can lead the good life, and whether they can know enough science to "tear the mask off nature and stare at the face of God."
but they should.” There’s a complex undercurrent here, which will prove vital to understanding the Leonard/Leslie breakup. The equ-ations of string theory demand extra dimensions, which is sufficient for Sheldon to be confident of their existence. Leonard, as an experimentalist, scoffs that the theory doesn’t match up with our known experience (which suggests only four spacetime dimensions: up/down, left/right, front/back, and a dimension representing our movement through time). Furthermore, it
spend time with him. Sheldon, however, soon gets stuck in an infinite loop caused by the structure of his own algorithm. Howard notices this and promptly strolls over to Sheldon’s whiteboard to modify the procedure, thereby helping Sheldon achieve his goal. Placing his hand over the phone, Sheldon muses, “A loop counter, and an escape to the least objectionable activity. Howard, that’s brilliant. I’m surprised you saw that.” Slowly making his way back to his chair, Howard rhetorically and
sarcastically asks, “Gee, why can’t Sheldon make friends?” These examples illustrate the attempt to reduce complex social skills to simple matters of logic, of the kind that might be implemented in a computer program. Once we are finished chuckling at Sheldon, Howard, Leonard, or Raj, the inevitable reaction is: dating or making friends simply isn’t that cut and dried. This, in turn, leads us to ask: why even try to apply scientific methodologies to complex social interactions? Why think that
little physics” was difficult—what must it be like to have one’s mother as a student?) Sheldon could benefit from his mother’s religious inclinations, especially as they pertain to his research. His religious leanings are clouded anyway. In “The Zarnecki Incursion,” he exclaims, “Why hast thou forsaken me, O deity whose existence I doubt,” but in “The Panty Piñata Polarization” he admits, “No, I don’t know what Jesus thinks about.” Most scientists do perfectly well with their pragmatic
conveyed in logical terms or characters, Wittgenstein realized that his so-called picture theory of language, according to which language represents or even copies our world and its logical structure, was mistaken. Therefore, he gradually developed a “use-theory of meaning,” implying that the actual use of language is decisive for the constitution of meaning. Because Wittgenstein’s books are considered to represent two distinct theories in the philosophy of language, scholars usually distinguish