Is Democracy overrated? Does power corrupt? Or do corrupt people seek power? Do corporate puppet masters pull politicians' strings? Why does Frank talk to the camera? Can politics deliver on the promise of justice? House of Cards depicts our worst fears about politics today. Love him or loathe him, Frank Underwood has charted an inimitable course through Washington politics. He and his cohorts depict the darkest dealings within the gleaming halls of our most revered political institutions. These 24 original essays examine key philosophical issues behind the critically-acclaimed…mehr
Is Democracy overrated? Does power corrupt? Or do corrupt people seek power? Do corporate puppet masters pull politicians' strings? Why does Frank talk to the camera? Can politics deliver on the promise of justice? House of Cards depicts our worst fears about politics today. Love him or loathe him, Frank Underwood has charted an inimitable course through Washington politics. He and his cohorts depict the darkest dealings within the gleaming halls of our most revered political institutions. These 24 original essays examine key philosophical issues behind the critically-acclaimed series--questions of truth, justice, equality, opportunity, and privilege. The amoral machinations of Underwood, the ultimate anti-hero, serve as an ideal backdrop for a discussion of the political theories of philosophers as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Marx. From political and corporate ethics, race relations, and ruthless paragmatism to mass media collusion and sexual politics, these essays tackle a range of issues important not only to the series but to our understanding of society today.
J. Edward Hackett is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Akron, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Kent State University and John Carroll University. He is author of Being and Value in Scheler: A Phenomenological Defense of Participatory Realism (forthcoming) and co-editor of a forthcoming anthology, Phenomenology for the 21st Century. He is a specialist in phenomenology and ethical theory, and works at the intersections of phenomenology, pragmatism, and analytic ethics. William Irwin (series editor) is Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Philosophy at King's College in Pennsylvania and is the author of The Free Market Existentialist. Irwin originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books with Seinfeld and Philosophy in 1999 and has overseen recent titles including The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy, Game of Thrones and Philosophy, and Sons of Anarchy and Philosophy.
Introduction: Contemplating a House of Cards 1Part I Socrates, Plato, and Frank 31 Of Sheep, Shepherds, and a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The Cynical View of Politics in House of Cards and Plato's Republic 5James Ketchen and Michael Yeo2 Being versus Seeming: Socrates and the Lessons of Francis Underwood's Asides 16John Scott GrayPart II Imagining Possibilities: American Ideals in House of Cards 293 Frank Underwood Gives the Ideal Society a Reality Check 31Brian Kogelmann4 "What Will We Leave Behind?" Claire Underwood's American Dream 42Sarah J. Palm and Kenneth W. StikkersPart III Characterizing Frank: U¨ bermensch or the Prince 535 Underwood as U¨ bermensch: A Postmodern Play of Power 55Leslie A. Aarons6 Why Underwood Is Frankly Not an Overman 68Matt Meyer7 American Machiavelli 81Greg Littmann8 Machiavelli Would Not Be Impressed 92Don Fallis9 Is Frank the Man for the Job? House of Cards and the Problem of Dirty Hands 102Tomer J. PerryPart IV Classical Liberalism and Democracy 11310 Frank the Foole, Upon a House of Cards 115Shane D. Courtland11 Hobbes and Frank on Why Democracy Is Overrated 128Steven Michels12 "Democracy Is So Overrated": The Shortcomings of Popular Rule 141Brendan Shea13 "Money Gives Power . . . Well, a Run for Its Money": Marx's Observations on Why Capital and Not Frank Is Really in Charge of the White House 152Chris Byron and Nathan Wood14 Freedom and Democracy in a House of Fear 163Roberto Sirvent and Ian DiorioPart V Intrapersonal Relationships, Sexuality, and Race in House of Cards 17315 Under the Covers with the Underwoods: The Sexual Politics of the Underwood Marriage 175Jason Southworth and Ruth Tallman16 The Spice of White Life: Freddy and Racist Representations 187Stephanie Rivera Berruz17 Broken Friendships and the Pathology of Corporate Personhood in House of Cards 197Myron Moses JacksonPart VI Existential Realities: Self-Love and Freedom 20718 Praying to One's Self, for One's Self: Frank's Ethics and Politics of Autoeroticism
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