Thursday, July 19, 2007
Metallica and Philosophy: New Book by William Irwin
Have you heard about this book? It's called Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series) and while the title almost sounds like it is an instruction manual for neurosurgery, it's by an author who connects philosophical topics to popular culture. William Irwin has also written Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Matrix, and plenty other versions of this book. By linking classic Metallica tracks to philosophers such as Nietzsche ("The God That Failed"), Descartes ("One") as well as different schools of philosophy (existentialism, metaphysics, ethics, not to mention aesthetics), "Metallica and Philosophy" can prove that metal is not idiotic, but a cathartic experience as well as a platform for social discourse.
Sample the book and then go buy it. Philosophy is the most fascinating, mind's eye-opening discipline there is, and this book along with Dr. Irwin's others should be proof positive that it is intertwined in the social fabric. Philosophy exists in everything we experience, from our most comedic and tragic experiences down to the molecules of the chair you are sitting in while you read this. In the most fundamental sense, philosophy is the study of existence, of being. Forget anatomy and physiology, this is the study of what the more "real" sciences cannot, by definition, analyze. As a philosopher, you will search whether quantifiable science can really "know" what it claims to be natural law. And music is the perfect vehicle for philosophy. Through music, artists can expound on abstract notions of justice, morality, love, and dozens of other key concepts and human values that defy definition. And it can be done in an aesthetically pleasing way (which is philosophical in itself)!