The Philosophical Teachings of Supernatural

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When my friend first prompted me to watch the show Supernatural, I assumed that it was just going to be another mind-numbing television show. I could not have been more wrong. I had no idea that beneath the action and plots were the shadows of various philosophies. The pilot episode opens up with a young man named Sam Winchester studying at Stanford University. He seems to be no more than a law student with a girlfriend, but everything changes when Sam’s older brother, Dean, comes asking for Sam’s help. Dean and Sam spent their entire childhood with their father, traveling around the country hunting monsters. When Sam and his father disagreed about Sam’s future, Sam left Dean and their father and went to Stanford. After several years without contact, Dean appears at Sam’s door telling Sam that their father went on a “hunting trip” and has not been heard from in several days. Sam senses the urgency in Dean’s voice and considers coming to his brother’s aid. After the death of his girlfriend Jessica, Sam leaves the comfort of a normal life at Stanford forever and embarks upon a modern day odyssey with Dean. Throughout the show’s nine seasons, Sam and Dean pay attention to demonic signs and mysterious deaths, traveling to hundreds of towns and cities to save the lives of innocent, oblivious people. Hidden in what seems like another mainstream television show are many philosophical teachings expressed through the plot and dialogue several of the show’s episodes. In the show Supernatural, many of the philosophical teachings of Freud, the Rule Utilitarians, and the Stoics are present within the storyline. In the season two episode “Bloodlust,” the character Gordon Walker exhibits the ideas of Rule Utilitarianism. In this episode, Gordon... ... middle of paper ... ... of the concepts that shadow the plots of the show. If this holds true, then it must be wondered what philosophical concepts can be applied to other seemingly mind-numbing television shows. Works Cited Gaarder, Jostein. Sophie’s World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. Print. Mautner, Thomas. Rule-Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism. n.d. Web. 5 November 2013. Works Consulted “Appointment in Samarra.” Supernatural. The CW. British Columbia. 10 December 2010. Television. “Bloodlust.” Supernatural. The CW. British Columbia. 12 October 2006. Television. “Meet the New Boss.” Supernatural. The CW. British Columbia. 23 September 2011. Television. N.p. Rule Utilitarianism. Wikipedia. n.d. Web. 5 November 2013. “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Supernatural. The CW. British Columbia. 20 May 2011. Television.

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