The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer
The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer is a book analyzing the philosophy and popular culture effects of The Simpsons, published by Open Court Publishing Company. The title is a satirical allusion to the Chinese philosophical work, the Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu. The book is edited by William Irwin, Mark T. Conard and Aeon J. Skoble, each of whom also wrote one of the eighteen essays in the book.
The book was released on February 28, 2001, as the second volume of Open Court Publishing's Popular Culture and Philosophy series, which currently includes thirty-three books. The book has gone on to be extremely successful, both in sales and critically, and is also used as a main text in various universities with philosophy courses.
The book includes contributions from eighteen academics in the field of philosophy. Topics included are comparisons of the characters in the show, such as Homer Simpson and Aristotle, or Bart Simpson and Nietzsche.
Other topics include the manner in which the show makes philosophical statements, and its opinions on sexuality in politics. Religion is also discussed in the book, such as the guilt Homer feels for not going to church, or Ned Flanders experiencing tragedies, despite following the Bible closely.
The book was highly successful, selling over 203,000 copies, making it the best selling book in the Open Court Publishing's Popular Culture and Philosophy series. such as Booklist, who wrote, "[...]these pieces make erudite concepts accessible by viewing things through the lens of a great cartoon series," or Publishers Weekly who wrote, "Fans of The Simpsons are certain to find this book to be the perfect rebuttal for those who dismiss the show as a no-brainer."
The book has been used as an aid in many universities to help teach philosophy, with some having the book as the main text book for the course.