Philosophy Smackdown
Philosophy Smackdown
From its carnival origins to its current status as a global phenomenon, pro wrestling has a unique presence in popular culture. Part sport and part theatre, 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.

<i>Philosophy Smackdown</i> is a study of pro wrestling as distinctive as pro wrestling itself: it is the first philosophical look at this major cultural spectacle. Philosopher and fan Douglas Edwards takes both philosophy and pro wrestling to parts unknown. With liveliness, 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.

<i>Philosophy Smackdown</i> is a read that will delight philosophers and pro wrestling fans alike. It's time to ask yourself: Whatcha gonna do when <i>Philosophy Smackdown</i> runs wild on you?
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More Info
  • June 2020
  • 200 pages
  • 143 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509537655
  • Paperback $16.95
  • 9781509537662
  • Open eBook $14.00
  • 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

About the Author
Douglas Edwards is Assistant Professor of Philosophy 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 book is billed as being about the philosophy of wrestling, but Edwards... writes so well that you don’t need to know much about either topic to be drawn in. He takes six philosophical topics — reality, freedom, identity, morality, justice and meaning — and investigates each one through the peculiar lens of pro wrestling. The result is far more entertaining than you might expect.”
Nigel Warburton,The Spectator Magazine

"I was introduced to philosophy in university. . . . I was required to buy textbooks that were definitely not as accessible, welcoming nor as interesting as Edwards’ book."
Slam Wrestling

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