Saturday, 17 January 2015

Doctor Who vs The Philosophy

Many series have spawned books that look at the philosophy presented and inspired by the series... so, of course, Doctor Who has one as well.

Most of the chapters follow the same format: Introduce some philosophical point that is up for discussion. Give some examples from Doctor Who. Then fail to conclude anything meaningful and leave it there.

Not exactly a great teaching work then.

The one chapter I liked was Chapter 20: And, Before I Go... which looked into the idea of regeneration and what does it mean for identity. (Although quite a few chapters do that.) This actually comes to a point, although it does seem that philosophy is about making pedantic points about semantic differences between 'individual' and 'person' and 'personality' and 'body' and... Yeah, no.

Although this covers the entire series from the very start up to around Series 6, it was often easy to tell which Doctor the particular author favoured, with mainly exampled from Tom Baker's Doctor, or David Tennant, or...

This analysis fits into a wider problem I have in that, this is a TV show. It's all very well using these as examples and hypotheticals and thinking 'what does this mean?', but since it doesn't happen in reality, it isn't much more than navel gazing. There can be some interesting problems in philosophy, but this book doesn't give the best argument for that.


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