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Philosophy Through Popular Culture: Overview

A guide to publications using popular culture as a vehicle for philosophy.

What Is Philosophy?

In simplest terms, philosophy (from the Greek, meaning "love of wisdom"), is the study of knowledge, or thinking about thinking. Philosophy helps us to think more clearly about issues and to analyze arguments.

What Is Popular Culture?

There are almost as many definitions of popular culture as there are people. An all-purpose beginning definition is that popular culture, or mass culture, is a set of widely accepted values, conventions, or social practices within the characteristic features of everyday life. Pop culture includes arts, events, trends, and people that grab mainstream societal attention at a specific place or time.

For a more thorough discussion of popular culture consult some of the many popular culture materials in the Library collection, such as:

Danesi, Marcel. Popular Culture: Introductory Perspectives. HM621 D36 2008.

Geist, Christopher D., and Jack Nachbar. The Popular Culture Reader. 3rd. ed. E169.1 P5983 1983.

Opposing Viewpoints: Popular Culture. HM621 P654 2011.

Pendergast, Tom, and Sara Pendergast, eds. St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. 3 vols. Ref E1691.1 S764 2000.

Popular Culture and Philosophy

This library guide is intended to help identify publications that use popular culture--movies, television, sports, etc.--to discuss philosophical issues. The publications are organized by general topic; use the tabs along the top of this page to pick your favorites.

This is a work in progress, so check back for new listings.

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Suzanne Wise
Belk Library and Information Commons
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608-2026
tel: 828-262-2798

Curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection