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Dr. Seuss and Philosophy

Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

Edited by Jacob M. Held - Contributions by Benjamin Rider; Jacob M. Held; Matthew F. Pierlott; Randall E. Auxier; Ron Novy; Tanya Jeffcoat; Eric N. Wilson; Dean A. Knowalski; Thomas M. Alexander; Anthony Cunningham; Aeon J. Skoble; Henry Cribbs; Johann A. Klaassen; Mari-Gretta G. Klaassen and DwayneTunstall

Since Theodor Geisel published his first children's book in 1937 under the pseudonym Dr. Seuss, children and adults alike have been captivated by the charming and laconic tales of whimsical characters and imaginative worlds. But Dr. Seuss' stories are more than just catchy poems; they often wrestle with serious philosophical and moral dilemmas, whether it is Horton discovering the very essence of life or the Lorax teaching us about morality. Dr. Seuss and Philosophy explores philosophical concepts such as the nature of the good life in Oh, the Places You'll Go!, the nature of knowledge in McElligot's Pool, postmodernity in On Beyond Zebra, business and the environment in The Lorax, and moral character in How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, among many others. Anyone who loves Dr. Seuss or is interested in philosophy will find this book to be intriguing and enlightening. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 288Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-0311-2 • Paperback • June 2011 • $18.95 • (£12.95)
978-1-4422-0312-9 • eBook • July 2011 • $17.99 • (£11.95)
Jacob M. Held is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Central Arkansas. He has written extensively on philosophy and popular culture, having coedited James Bond and Philosophy and contributed to volumes on the Beatles, South Park, and Watchmen, to name a few.
Editor's Note
Unsettled Meddling, an introduction in verse
Chapter 1: Oh, the Places You'll Go! The Examined, Happy Life
Benjamin Rider

Chapter 2: My Troubles are going to have Troubles with Me: Schopenhauer, Pessimism, and Nietzche
Jacob M. Held

Chapter 3: Gretrude McFuzz Should've Read Marx, Or Sneetches of the World Unite
Jacob M. Held

Chapter 4: Socratic Seuss: Intellectual Integrity and Truth-Orientation
Matthew F. Pierlott

Chapter 5: Neither Here, nor There, no Anywhere?
Randall E. Auxier

Chapter 6: McElligot's Pool: Epistemology (with Fish!)
Ron Novy

Chapter 7: On Beyond Modernity, Or Conrad and a Postmodern Alphabet
Jacob M. Held

Chapter 8: From There to Here, From Here to There, Diversity is Everywhere
Tanya Jeffcoat

Chapter 9: What Would You Do If Your Mother Asked You? A Brief Introduction to Ethics
Jacob M. Held and Eric N. Wilson

Chapter 10: Horton Hears You, Too! Seuss and Kant on Repecting Persons
Dean A. Kowalski

Chapter 11: Pragmatist Ethics with John Dewey, Horton, and the Lorax
Thomas M. Alexander

Chapter 12: The Grinch's Change of Heart: Whodunit?
Anthony Cunningham

Chapter 13: Thidwick the Big-Hearted Bearer of Property Rights
Aeon J. Skoble

Chapter 14: Rebellion in Slala-ma-Sond: The Social Contract and a Turtle Named "Mack"
Ron Novy

Chapter 15: Whose Egg is it, Really? Property Rights and Distributive Justice
Henry Cribbs

Chapter 16: It's Not Personal...It's Just Bizzyneuss: Business Ethics, the Company, Its Stakeholders
Matthew F. Pierlott

Chapter 17: Speaking for Business, Speakign for Trees: Business and Environment in The Lorax
Johann A. Klaassen and Mari-Gretta G. Klaassen

Chapter 18: Dr. Seuss Meets Philosophical Aesthetics
Dwayne Tunstall

The Menagerie: Author Bios
This is a unique book. I would not have imagined anyone imagining doing such a thing—but these philosophers did. They imagined it, and they did it. And it is published. You can hold it in your hand, or even read it. Oy vey!
Daniel Pinkwater

If you are a person who likes to ask "Why?"But who finds the philosophers just a bit dry,Then this book's for you, since it's not so abstruse,When your guide to Deep Thinkers is—the wise Dr. Seuss!
Thomas Cathcart, author of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar and Heidegger and a Hippo Walk through Those Pearly Gates

Few people realize how philosophical picture books are. Dr. Seuss and Philosophy should help change that. Readers should not miss Jacob Held's wonderful introductionary poem in which he channels Dr. Seuss. It's a real treasure!
Thomas Wartenberg, Professor of Philosophy, Mt. Holyoke College