Philosophy Through Comics (guest post)

Can you do philosophy with comics? “Yeah, sure, easy.” But why do it?

That’s the subject of this week’s guest post by Pete Mandik, professor of philosophy at William Paterson University. Regular readers of Daily Nous will know Mandik not just for his work in philosophy of mind but as the creator, author, and artist of Mind Chunks, one of the comics that have regularly appeared here since 2015.

Professor Mandik is writing and illustrating a philosophy graphic novel series for Hackett Publishing called Philosophy Comix, the first three volumes of which will be on philosophy of mind, ethics, and critical thinking, respectively, with more to follow.

This is the ninth in a series of weekly guest posts by different authors at Daily Nous this summer.

[Posts in the summer guest series will remain pinned to the top of the page for the week in which they’re published.]

[image by J. Weinberg, with apologies to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Pete Mandik, Raphael, and Mr. Fantastic]

Philosophy Through Comics
by Pete Mandik

Discussion welcome. And yes, your comment can be in the form of a comic (click the picture icon in the bottom right of the comment box to add it). Feel free to share examples of philosophical questions and issues taken up in comics, comic books, graphic novels, etc.

Some of Pete Mandik’s art, including poster-sized versions of favorites such as “Philosophy Department Office Map“, “The Philosophy Basement“, and “Descartes’ Meditations Video Game Walkthrough“, is available to purchase here.


The Various Literary Forms of Philosophy
Daily Nous Philosophy Comics

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10 months ago

For another example, you can follow my webcomic Noumena:

The comic is still in its early days, but more posts are in the pipeline and they will deal with philosophical concepts and theories in depth.

10 months ago

I know that many people tend to look down on these volumes, but the Blackwell and Open Court popular culture and philosophy anthologies on various comic book series are filled with explorations of the philosophical themes found within those comics. That’s a natural starting point for examples, and they often make great introductory teaching papers as an added benefit.

For something more academic, there’s *The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach* ed. Meskin & Cook (cited in the comic above) and *The Routledge Companion to Comics* ed. Bramlett, Cook & Meskin, although the latter isn’t primarily philosophy. Both will have explorations of philosophy done through comics. Also of note is *Philosophy Illustrated*, ed. De Cruz, which may or may not count as comics, but is a collection of illustrations of thought experiments.