Flatulence and Philosophy Analysis Paper

Virtue ethicists Socrates and Hannah Arendt contend that we achieve moral behavior by reflectively thinking about our beliefs and actions, and not simply conforming with the crowd mentality. In “Flatulence and Philosophy: A Lot of Hot Air, or the Corruption of Youth?” William Young proposes that the television comedy South Park offers us the same opportunity:

Through its different characters, and even in its apparently mindless vulgaritySouth Park shows the need for engaging in dialogue, and thinking from others’ perspectives, in order to pursue wisdom, examine life, and make it worth living.

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Question

Study the William Young and Sean McAleer articles and listening to one episode, compilation, or clip of The Office. Then respond to the following:

  • To what extent might you concur with William Young that vulgar comedies such as South Park, or even The Simpsons, encourage such a deep reflection on ethics and ultimately encourage virtuous behavior? Is this the type of reflection that Arendt and Socrates intended? Please explain.
  • To what extent is author Sean McAleer right when he proclaims, “The Office has much to teach us about Aristotle’s ethics, for its major male characters illustrate the structure of a character virtue as a mean between extremes” (162)? Reference your chosen episode of The Office (the British version) and offer examples.
  • (250 words APA)

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