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The Philosophy of The X-Files (The Philosophy of Popular Culture)
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The Philosophy of The X-Files (The Philosophy of Popular Culture)

Dean A. Kowalski

From its first appearance in 1993, The X-Files has attracted millions of viewers interested in the paranormal investigations of intuitionist and belief-driven Fox Mulder and his partner, Dana Scully, the "consummate scientist" and skeptic. Addressing questions of trust and authority that plague our information-addled society, the series acquired a large fan base of individuals interested in debating and interpreting the philosophical themes that underlie the symbiotic partnership between Mulder and Scully. The Philosophy of The X-Files concentrates not only on the philosophical assumptions and presuppositions of the show but also on how the episodes portray the process of philosophical inquiry. Editor Dean A. Kowalski argues that both philosophy and The X-Files center around a determination to search for truth despite a frequent lack of information and proper tools. It is no surprise, then, to find the series riddled with common philosophical themes, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and existentialism, among others. The first section of the book addresses the credos put forth by the series and examines the philosophical significance of its three popular slogans: "The truth is out there," "Trust no one," and "I want to believe." In the second section, contributors analyze the philosophical underpinnings of the characters of Mulder, Scully, the Cigarette Smoking Man, and Assistant Director Walter Skinner. A final section is devoted to individual episodes and engages with the philosophical issues raised by "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space,'" in addition to the 1998 film The X-Files: Fight the Future. Two appendixes offer a summary of the main storyline and brief plot summaries of each television episode together with the philosophical issues it raises. The first collection of philosophical essays devoted exclusively to the show, The Philosophy of The X-Files shows a television series successfully engaged with the philosophical quandaries of the modern world and explores how Mulder and Scully's personalities and actions invite inquiry into patterns of human belief and behavior.



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