Dark Knight Philosophy

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BATMAN
AND

PHILOSOPHY
THE DARK KNIGHT OF THE SOUL

Edited by Mark D. White and Robert Arp

@
WILEY

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

To the memory of Heath Ledger (1979-2008)

Copyright © 2008 by john Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved Published by john Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New jerney Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a reaieval system, or transmit­ ted in any fonn or by any means. electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scan­ ning, or otherwise, except as pennitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written pennission of the Publisher, Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvern, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) sion should be addressed to the Pennissions Department,john Wiley & Sons,Inc., III or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright

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10 9 8 7 654 3 2

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDG MENTS:

The Oscar Speech

George Clooney Never Got to Make Introduction: Riddle Me This . .

ix

PART ON E

DOES THE DARK KNIGHT ALWAYS DO RIGHT?

Why Doesn't Batman Kill the Joker?

5 17
28

Mark D. White
2
Is It Right to Make a Robin?

James DiGiovanna
Batman's Virtuous Hatred

Stephen Kershnar
PART TWO

LAW, JUSTICE, AND THE SOCIAL ORDER: WHERE DOES BATMAN FIT IN?

4 No Man's Land: Social Order in Gotham City
and New Orleans

41

Brett Chandler Patterson

5 6

Governing Gotham

55

Tony Spanakos
The Joker's Wild: Can We Hold the Clown Prince Morally Responsible?

70

Christopher Robichaud
PART THREE

ORIGINS AND ETHICS: BECOMING THE CAPED CRUSADER

7
8

Bannan's Promise

85

Randall M. Jemen
Should Bruce Wayne Have Become Bannan?

101

Mahesh Ananth and Ben Dixon 9
What Would Bannan Do? Bruce Wayne as Moral Exemplar

1 14

Ryan Ind Rhodes and David K Johmon y yle
PART FOUR

WHO IS THE BATMAN? (IS THAT A TRICK QUESTION?)

10

Under the Mask: How Any Person Can Become Bannan

129 142

Sarah K Donovan and Nicholas P. Richardson 11 12
Could Bannan Have Been the Joker?

Sam Cowling and Chris Ragg
Bannan's Identity Crisis and Wingenstein's Family Resemblance

1 56 167

Jason Southworth 13
What I s I t Like to Be a Bannan?

Ron Novy

CONTENTS

vii

PART FIVE

BEING THE BAT: INSIGHTS FROM EXISTENTIALISM AND TAOISM

14

Alfred, the Dark Knight of Faith: Bannan and Kierkegaard

1 83 198...
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