Site Search Order Information Home Contact
Open Court Publishing Company

Downton Abbey and Philosophy 

Click to Enlarge

ISBN 978-0-8126-9903-6


xii + 276 pages


Buy It Now

Downton Abbey and Philosophy

Thinking in That Manor

Edited by Adam Barkman and Robert Arp
Volume 95 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

In Downton Abbey, the best and worst aspects of the human condition unfold among the upper and lower classes of First World War English society. And wherever we find the human condition, philosophical questions brew like afternoon tea. Downton Abbey and Philosophy turns an insightful eye on moral scandal, political unrest, sexuality, death, and individual purpose, telling us more about the colorful characters of Downton, but also more about ourselves.”

—Jamie Carlin Watson, co-author of Philosophy DeMystifed

“If you have enjoyed watching Downton Abbey, you will enjoy this honey of a book. When your viewing is over, these delicious meditations on morality and meaning will prompt you to continue pondering the series, preferably while drinking a piping hot cup of tea in the parlor, looking out over the gardens.”

—Rachel Wagner, author of Godwired: Religion, Ritual, and Virtual Reality

“Barkman and Arp’s book is the perfect companion for those, like me, who have watched Downton Abbey three times, and are on the verge of a fourth viewing.”

—Charles Taliaferro, co-author of A Brief History of the Soul

Downton Abbey is one of my favorite television shows. Almost every episode raises or hints at issues that are of keen interest to a philosophical mind. In this great volume of essays, the academic lords and ladies of contemporary philosophy take on many of those issues to great effect. No more scintillating discussions ever graced a manor drawing room. Read and enjoy!”

—Tom Morris, author of Philosophy for Dummies, and If Aristotle Ran General Motors

 “With topics ranging from love and manners to death and war, the fine philosophers in this collection will take you on a philosophical tour of post-Edwardian England. This book is appealing to both those who work downstairs as well as those who don’t work at all. You are certain to love this book at least as much as Mr. Bates loves Anna!”

—Richard V. Greene, co-editor of Girls and Philosophy: This Book Isn’t a Metaphor for Anything

“What could a nostalgic TV series about spoilt British aristocrats at the beginning of the twentieth century possibly tell you about the meaning of life, social responsibility, and neuroscience? Quite a lot, actually! Watching Downton Abbey is anything but a guilty pleasure, as the authors in this volume show by disclosing the philosophical significance of manors, manners, and, yes, snuffboxes. As a result, we learn why Matthew Crawley actually isn’t the sweetheart we see him as and what an English lord can teach us about socialism. This is a thought-provoking book for fans and skeptics of the series alike!”

—Janelle Pötzsch, co-editor of Dracula and Philosophy: Dying to Know

Adam Barkman is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Redeemer University College, Ontario. His books include C.S. Lewis and Philosophy as a Way of Life (2009); The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott (co-edited with Ashley Barkman and Nancy Kang, 2013); and Manga and Philosophy (co-edited with Joseph Steiff, 2010). Robert Arp has written and edited many works in both academic and popular philosophy, including Justified and Philosophy: Shoot First, Think Later (2014), 1001 Ideas that Changed the Way We Think (2013), and What’s Good on TV? Teaching Ethics through Television (2011).

Open Court Publishing Company · 70 East Lake Street · Suite 800 · Chicago, Illinois 60601
Copyright © 2013
Phone: 1-800-815-2280
Fax: 1-312-701-1728