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ISBN 978-0-8126-9825-1


xii + 285 pages

July 2013

Psych and Philosophy

Some Dark Juju-Magumbo

Edited by Robert Arp
Volume 75 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

Shawn Spencer’s natural abilities are too miraculous to be believed, while his simulated psychic gifts appear more credible to the good citizens of Santabarbaratown. And so, with the connivance of his best friend and his dad, Shawn makes fools of the citizenry and the police—strictly for their own good, though he too usually comes out ahead.

In Psych and Philosophy, twenty-eight of our leading philosophers press their fingers to their temples and tell us they’re getting something, though the spirits’ voices aren’t always loud and clear. In such cases, the philosophers actually have to fill in the gaps by doing some thinking of their own.

Is it right to practice deception when this helps to get the truth out? Should we lie to save lives? Can it ever be justified for police departments to spend taxpayers’ money on psychic investigators? Is solving crimes a science or an art? Is the supernatural a drug to tranquilize the exploited? Are the gullible as much at fault as their gullers? Do real men take bubble baths? It’s all here, some of it.

“I predict that this book will solve many mysteries about why Psych is such a great television show. The insights range from logic to psychology, from theory of knowledge to eastern philosophy. My favorite Shawn koan? ‘Just because you put syrup on something doesn’t make it pancakes’.”

—Kevin S. Decker, co-editor of Star Trek and Philosophy: The Wrath of Kant

“It’s rare to experience spiritual longing, the noble art of deduction, and uncontrollable belly laughter, all in the space of a few pages, but Rob Arp, one of the great philosophical editors active today, has achieved just this in his truly excellent Psych and Philosophy.”

— Adam Barkman, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Redeemer University College, Ontario

“You don’t need to be a philosopher to enjoy philosophy, and I don’t need to be a psychic to know that if you like Psych you’ll love Psych and Philosophy. In this totally cool and fascinating book by a first-rate team of writers, you can find some of the philosophical subjects touched on in Psych, though not usually obvious to non-psychic viewers.”

— Ana Carolina Azevedo, Universidade do Vale do Rios dos Sinos (Unisinos), Brazil

Robert Arp is employed as an intelligence analyst for the US Army. As long as he gets results, the Army doesn’t care whether he relies on occult practices or merely on his own abnormal but strictly natural talents. Among his many published works, Dr. Arp is author of Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving (2008); co-author of Philosophy DeMYSTiFieD (2011); Critical Thinking: An Introduction to Reasoning Well (2011); What’s Good on TV? Teaching Ethics through Television (2011); and co-editor of Breaking Bad and Philosophy: Badder Living through Chemistry (2012).

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