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The Good Place and Philosophy 

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ISBN 978-0-8126-9464-2


x + 230 pages


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The Good Place and Philosophy

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Edited by Steven A. Benko and Andrew Pavelich
Volume 130 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

“Yes, Eleanor, someone royally forked up! We’re all human, and we often attempt something futile with a lot of unearned confidence and then we fail spectacularly. We’re so forked! This book is a light-hearted trip through ethics, filled with plenty of moral philosophy to help us be good. Or, at least, fork up less.”

—Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray, author of Doorway to the World of Essences (2011)

The Good Place should have been released with a Viewer’s Guide—and now, with The Good Place and Philosophy, we have one. The show itself could serve as Ethics 101 and with the release of this collection of fascinating chapters, readers can take Ethics 201. These eye-opening writings give us a chance to view our own lives from an even better place.”

— Jack Bowen, author of The Dream Weaver: One Boy’s Journey through the Landscape of Reality (2006)

The Good Place may be the most philosophically compelling television show since The Twilight Zone. The fine philosophical writers of this book challenge us to think about the tricky metaphysical and ethical issues raised by the show, as well as why we react the way we do—laughingly and with sympathy—toward characters who are so deeply flawed. As Pascal would have wagered, if you don’t buy this book, you just might end up in The Bad Place.”

— Richard Greene, author of Spoiler Alert! (It’s a Book about the Philosophy of Spoilers) (2019)

 “Who ever thought philosophy class could be this much forking fun? Still, there are the imponderable questions: Chidi should make up his mind, right? Eleanor should try considering someone else’s feelings, right? Jason try actual meditation, right? Someone should learn Michael’s true name, right? And most of all, how do you get a date with Bad Janet? If The Good Place leaves you with more questions than answers, this is the book for you!”

 — Randall E. Auxier, author of Metaphysical Graffiti: Deep Cuts in the Philosophy of Rock (2017)

 “The Good Place has made philosophical puzzles popular—and fun! Now, twenty-four philosophers, including at least one rock star, have come together to reach into the hidden dimensions of these issues: What sorts of things are we? The likes of Michael and Janet? Why may this matter if indeed there’s a good place, and maybe bad and medium places too? Do some faiths get more than five percent right? In Jason’s immortal words: They’ve got you, dog!”

— Trip McCrossin, co-editor of Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy: This Breaks the World (2019)

 Steven A. Benko is Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Meredith College.

Andrew Pavelich is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston—Downtown.

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