The Simpsons: University of Glasgow launches course on philosophy of Homer Simpson

'The Simpsons is a very sophisticated work of popular culture'

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 16 November 2016 12:45
Comments

Over the last few years, many articles have been written about how The Simpsons predicted the future on multiple occasions, including the recent induction of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Not only does the cartoon offer us glimpses into the future, though: apparently, philosophy students have a lot to learn from the programme, so much so that the University of Glasgow is offering a new course titled “D’oh! The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy.”

Tutor at the university, John Donaldson, created the course, insisting the US cartoon is a fantastic vehicle for introducing students to the subject.

“Matt Groening, the man behind The Simpsons, was a student of philosophy, and that comes through in each episode,” he told The Scotsman.

“The Simpsons is a very sophisticated work of popular culture, with a broad scope and depth, and is full of philosophical themes. Very pleasingly, the course has proved to be incredibly popular on social media. It has gone viral. We’ve never really had a response like this before.”

Donaldson wants students to debate what great thinkers - such as Aristotle - would think of the lazy, yellow-skinned father of three.

“The Simpsons is one of the modern world’s greatest cultural artefacts partly because it is so full of philosophy,” he continued. “Aristotle, Kant, Marx, Camus and many other great thinkers’ ideas are represented in what is arguably the purest of philosophical forms: the comic cartoon.”

The course, which runs on 14 January and costs £30 a head, is open to all. Meanwhile, The Simpsons recently addressed predicting Donald Trump’s presidency in the latest episode.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in