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Table of Contents

Popular Culture and Philosophy™ Series Editor: William Irwin

Title Page


Chapter 1 - “What’s All This Then?” The Introduction

The Importance of Being British

What, That’s Not Enough for You?

Bloody Hell, There’s More!?!

Okay, That’s All for Now

And Where the @#$%^& is the Queen?

Philosophical Aspects of Monty Python

Chapter 2 - “Life’s a Piece of Shit”: Heresy, Humanism, and Heroism in Monty ...

“Blessed Are the Cheese Makers”: The Question of Heresy

“A New World, a Better Future”: The Question of Humanism

“Life’s a Piece of Shit”: The Question of Heroism

Chapter 3 - What Mr. Creosote Knows About Laughter

To Laugh, or To Scream?

Who’s Afraid of Mr. Creosote?

Just Desserts

Chapter 4 - The Limits of Horatio’s Philosophy

What I Think My Chapter May Be About

Wittgenstein and Meaning: The Absurd and The Funny

Meaning and Practice

Chapter 5 - Why Is an Argument Clinic Less Silly than an Abuse Clinic or a ...

What Kind of Argument Would You Like?

The Philosophical Argument and Reflective Equilibrium

Suppose You Were Attached to a Dead Parrot: The Role of Thought Experiments

Chapter 6 - A Very Naughty Boy: Getting Right with Brian

How I Was Saved

God Is Dead (and I’m Not Feeling so Good Myself)

This Deity Is Bleedin’ Demised

The Plumage Don’t Enter into It

Romani Ite Domum

A Good Spanking

Getting Right with Brian (Just in Case)

Chapter 7 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Philosophy, Gender, and Society

Mynd You, Moose Bites Kan Be Pretty Nasti . . .

Why the Pythons Chose Arthur and the Grail

Come On, You Pansy!

We Have Found a Witch. May We Burn Her?

We Have but One Punishment. . . . You Must Tie Her Down on the Bed and Spank Her

Er, Well . . . the Thing Is . . . I Thought Your Son Was a Lady

Yes, but What About the Killer Rabbit?

Chapter 8 - Against Transcendentalism: Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and Buddhism

Is There Really Something Called ‘Transcendental Metaphysics’?

What’s So Wrong with Transcendental Thinking?

What’s So Grotesque about That?

Back Down to Earth

Mind the Mindfulness

Chapter 9 - Is There Life After Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life?

Life, the Journey: The Axial Answer

Death and (the Meaning of) Life

Philosophy as an Answer

Liberating Laughter

And Now for . . . Comedic Eliminativism

Aspects of Pythonic Philosophy

Chapter 10 - God Forgive Us

In Alphabetical Order: Birth Control (and Other Intimate Matters)

Blasphemy (Name-Calling: With Sticks and Stones to Break Your Bones)

Heaven (Capitalize for Effect)

Bonus Material: The Origin of Monty Python’s Christmas in Heaven Is Revealed ...

Hell (Capitalized because Heaven Was Capitalized)

A Short but Grave Reflection about God and Hell (You Can Use This at Your ...

Justice (A Philosopher Is Observed)

Prayer (A Euphemism for Butt-Kissing and Begging)

Chapter 11 - Monty Python and David Hume on Religion

Causes and Reasons

The Ontological Argument

Get Me to the Argument Clinic!

The Conceivable versus the Possible, Or, How to Confuse a Cat

The Argument from Design, or, “All Things Dull and Ugly”

The Argument from Miracles, Or, “He’s Been Taken Up!”

The Cause of Religion, Or “Oh Father, Please Don’t Boil Us”

The Epilogue: A Question of Belief

Chapter 12 - Madness in Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Michel Foucault: Madness as a Social Construct

Pythonic Madness

Urban Idiots: Foucauldian and Pythonesque

Chapter 13 - Monty Python and the Search for the Meaning of Life

Markets and Motives: Utilitarianism and Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Tradition and Traits: Virtue Theory and The Holy Grail

Religion and Rules: Deontology and Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Knowledge and Nihilism: Science and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Chapter 14 - Existentialism in Monty Python: Kafka, Camus, Nietzsche, and Sartre

Kafka, Camus, and the “Absurd”

The Individual and the Meaning of Life

Sartre, Bad Faith, and Freedom

A Nietzschean Conclusion

Chapter 15 - “My Brain Hurts!”

Hair of the Dog

Making Sense

So Show Us

Do You See It?

Through Them, on Them, over Them

An Exercise for the Reader

No Ambition

How to Patent Nonsense

“Is There Life After Death?”

“Language Games”

“I’d Like to Put This Question to You, Please, Lizard”

Does It Sit on a Chair?

“But—They Simply Do Not Talk”

“Is There Enough of It About?”

Chapter 16 - Why Is a Philosopher Like a Python? How Philosophical Examples Work

Complaints about Complaints and Thinking about Thinking

Madmen, Blancmanges, Violinists, and Abortion

The Practical Value of Philosophical Examples

So, What Have Philosophers Ever Done for Us?

Pythonic Aspects of Philosophy

Chapter 17 - Tractatus Comedo-Philosophicus

A Senseless Waste of Human Reason

The Overcoming of Philosophy through Comical Paralysis of Language


Chapter 18 - Monty Python’s Utterly Devastating Critique of Ordinary Language Philosophy

What the Fly Saw

The Story of Ordinary Language Philosophy: Britain’s Most Influential ...

The Problem with Brilliance


A Knockout of an Argument

Chapter 19 - Word and Objection: How Monty Python Destroyed Modern Philosophy

In My Day . . .

The Trouble With Dead Parrots, and Sketches About Them

What Is to Be Done?

Chapter 20 - My Years with Monty Python, or, What’s So Funny About Language, ...

Hume’s Gap

Hume’s Incomplete Advice

The Complete Two-Minute Introduction to Conceptual Schemes

And Therefore . . .

No Shoes for Muskrats: How the 1956 Olympic Games Destroyed Indonesian Art

Chapter 21 - Themes in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy as Reflected in the ...

“International Philosophy,” from Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

“Dead Parrot,” Episode 8 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “Full Frontal Nudity”

Arthur Meets the Black Knight, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“Argument Clinic,” Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Episode 29, “The Money Programme”

“Nudge Nudge,” Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Episode 3, “How To Recognise ...

Burn The Witch, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“The Cheese Shop,” Episode 33, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “Salad Days”

Everyone Remembers Their First Time: About the authors, nearly all of whom have ...

What Was All That,Then?

Copyright Page

Popular Culture and Philosophy™ Series Editor: William Irwin


Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing (2000) Edited by William Irwin


The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! Of Homer (2001) Edited by William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, and Aeon J. Skoble


The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (2002) Edited by William Irwin


Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale (2003) Edited by James B. South


The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All (2003) Edited by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson

Volume 6

Baseball and Philosophy:

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