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Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy cover

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ISBN 0-8126-9634-4
ISBN-13 978-0-8126-9634-9


232 pages

(Fall 2007)

Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy

How to Philosophize with a Pair of Pliers and a Blowtorch

Edited by Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammad
Volume 29 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

In Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy, seventeen professional thinkers shamelessly exploit the cinematic achievement of Tarantino for all the steamy, sensational metaphysics and epistemology they can wring out of it.

Are these eruptions of intelligent thought merely a cynical hypnotic manipulation of our cerebral cortexes? Or can we somehow relate them to the human values that really matter—pyrotechnic car chases, Mexican standoffs, and exploding heads?

Is the philosophers' preoccupation with quoting other philosophers nothing more than incestuous indulgence? Or are they somehow conveying a deeper point about the enduring validity of amputated ears and anal rape?

In the final analysis only you, the viewer, can decide.

  • What can Reservoir Dogs teach us about the evolution of co-operation?
  • Is Beatrix's revenge in Kill Bill both justified and self-destructive?
  • Can we agree completely on what has happened and disagree on whether it was a miracle?
  • How is Pulp Fiction's Vincent doomed because of his messy bathroom habits?
  • Does Grindhouse/Death Proof reflect the epoch in which everything that actually occurs is unreal?

"With Tarantino and Philosophy, it's the little differences, like having your Royale with cheese dissected by a grease monkey with a blowtorch. It's so bad, it's good."

—Del Harvey, publisher of

"Quentin Tarantino and the films he makes have sparked hours of heated debates about whether he has something to say or simply repeats what he's heard. Tarantino and Philosophysettles the question once and for all, in a supercool book that's more fun than a Mexican standoff."

—Josef Steiff, author of The Complete Idiot's Guid to Independent Filmmaking

"If you love Quentin Tarantino then you should check out the big brains on these seventeen philosophers. Their insights into the great filmmaker will allow you to see his films with new eyes.

—John Collins, professor of philosophy at East Carolina University

Richard Greene is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Weber State University and co-editor (with Peter Vernezze) of The Sopranos and Philosophy: I Kill Therefore I Am (2004). K. Silem Mohammad teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Southern Oregon University, publishes the limetree poetry blog, and has authored three volumes of poetry. Greene and Mohammad also edited The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless (2006).

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