The University of Glasgov, in Scotland, will now offer a philosophy class that will examine whether Homer Simpson is “virtuous.” The one day course will tackle some of life’s heavy questions such as morality, religion, etc. and free will.
The course is called, “D’oh! The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy,” and was designed for members of the public who had an interest in philosophy. The course is held on the 14th and 21st of January and the first day is already sold out.
It course is designed to take popular themes from philosophy and applies them to different episodes and characters in the Simpsons:
- On children
“A boy without mischief is like a bowling ball without a liquid centre.”
“Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail.”
- On beer
“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.”
“When will I learn? The answer to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!”
- On cartoons
Homer is a very complex character in many ways,” Dr Donaldson said.
“He’s very gluttonous, he can be quite violent and self-interested. But at the same time he’s a character that’s hard not to like.
“He’s very popular. He has a childlike joy of life, he’s open to doing the right thing and he’s a faithful family man.”
Dr Donaldson, who is a long time fan of the show, said the cartoon had a rich seam of moments for a philosopher to plunder, with many episodes having a moral dilemma and a moment of realization.
“I like the Simpsons because it’s a great work of art. It’s a cartoon of a great tapestry. There’s so much going on in it,” he said.
“It encourages you to reflect on what’s important in life.”