Thursday, May 14, 2020

Analysis Of Robert Epperson s Seinfeld And The Moral Life

Introduction One of the most common criticisms of Seinfeld is that the characters and writing of the show are amoral . These critics may point to episodes like â€Å"The Marine Biologist,† where Jerry and George a purposefully lie to a woman about George’s career so that George may have a chance of sleeping with her. On one hand it’s tempting to dismiss these critics as nitpicking or misconstruing comic content, but on the other hand I feel that their claims are misguided. In fact, I have observed that there are in fact many ethical themes in Seinfeld, and I am certainly not alone in that observation. That observation is the crux of Robert Epperson’s article â€Å"Seinfeld and the Moral Life,† compiled in the 2000 book, Seinfeld and Philosophy. Epperson argues, as I will throughout the essay, that, â€Å"Seinfeld is largely about characters attempting to live a moral life.† This view has particularly informed this essay in that I feel that not only is t he show largely about its characters attempting to pinpoint and act upon morally correct actions, but that each character has a unique philosophical moral system. As my example, I will demonstrate that Jerry acts with a particularly duty bound ethical system, which I describe as being deontological in nature, which appears to be influenced by the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant in particular. Jerry, throughout the series, acts in a way that could be described as utilizing a somewhat inconsistent, but generally deontological ethical

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