Breaking Bad and Philosophy by David R. Koepsell
Badder Living through Chemistry (Popular Culture and Philosophy)

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Breaking Bad, hailed by Stephen King, Chuck Klosterman, and many others as the best of all TV dramas, tells the story of a man whose life changes because of the medical death sentence of an advanced cancer diagnosis. The show depicts his metamorphosis from inoffensive chemistry teacher to feared drug lord and remorseless killer. Driven at first by the desire to save his family from destitution, he risks losing his family altogether because of his new life of crime.

In defiance of the tradition that viewers demand a TV character who never changes, Breaking Bad is all about the process of change, with each scene carrying forward the morphing of Walter White into the terrible Heisenberg.

Can a person be transformed as the result of a few key life choices? Does everyone have the potential to be a ruthless criminal? How will we respond to the knowledge that we will be dead in six months? Is human life subject to laws as remorseless as chemical equations? When does injustice validate brutal retaliation? Why are drug addicts unsuitable for operating the illegal drug business? How can TV viewers remain loyal to a series where the hero becomes the villain? Does Heisenberg’s Principle of Uncertainty rule our destinies?

In Breaking Bad and Philosophy, a hand-picked squad of professional thinkers investigate the crimes of Walter White, showing how this story relates to the major themes of philosophy and the major life decisions facing all of us.

About David R. Koepsell

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David Koepsell is an author, philosopher, and attorney whose recent research focuses on the nexus of science, technology, ethics, and public policy. He is Assistant Professor, Philosophy Section, Faculty of Technology, Policy, and Management at the Technology University of Delft, in The Netherlands, andSenior Fellow, 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology, The Netherlands. He is also the author of The Ontology of Cyberspace: Philosophy, Law, and the Future of Intellectual Property, as well as numerous scholarly articles on law, philosophy, science, and ethics.
Published June 20, 2012 by Open Court. 254 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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