Philosophy Smackdown
Philosophy Smackdown

Pro wrestling has a unique place in popular culture. Part sport and part theater, the impressive antics of its larger-than-life characters have captured the imaginations of generations of fans, and prompted endless speculation about behind-the-scenes machinations.

Philosopher and wrestling fan Douglas Edwards takes both philosophy and pro wrestling to parts unknown. With humor and insight, he shows that pro wrestling is fertile ground for reflection on fundamental human issues, such as reality, freedom, identity, morality, justice, and meaning. He explores these through pivotal events in pro wrestling, from the eighties’ heyday of Hulkamania to the recent emergence of AEW.

This book will delight fans of philosophy and pro wrestling alike. So ask yourself: Whatcha gonna do when <i>Philosophy Smackdown</i> runs wild on you?

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  • June 2020
  • 200 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509537655
  • Paperback $16.95
  • 9781509537662
  • Open eBook $9.99
  • 9781509537679
Table of Contents
1 Reality: Work vs Shoot
2 Freedom: Scripting vs Spontaneity
3 Identity: Person vs Gimmick
4 Morality: Babyface vs Heel
5 Justice: Prejudice vs Progress
6 Meaning: Sport vs Monster
Dark Match: Pro Wrestling vs Philosophy
Index of Names
About the Author
Douglas Edwards is a prize-winning author and philosopher who has been a huge pro wrestling fan since he was a kid. He has written many books and articles on the nature of truth and reality, and teaches at Utica College.
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"One of the best popular philosophy books I've ever read."
Mark D. White, author of Batman and Ethics

"The perfect guide for the intellectual wrestling fan, and a revelation of hidden depth for the skeptical philosopher."
William Irwin, General Editor, The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

"This work of popular philosophy uses wrestling to explore philosophical questions, and uses philosophy to explore the drama and industry of wrestling. I’ve read nothing quite like it."
Damon Young, author of The Art of Reading

"With Philosophy Smackdown, Douglas Edwards has placed philosophy and pro wrestling in a winning tag-team."
Lisa Jones, University of St Andrews

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