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Bob Dylan and Philosophy: It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Thinking)

Peter Vernezze & Carl J. Porter, eds.
Publisher Open Court  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
ISBN 9780812695922
Pages/Publication Date 205/2006
Daedalus Item Code 61577
This item is not available.
If a killer is "Only a Pawn in Their Game," is he really relieved of all moral responsibility—and whose "game" is it? If "to live outside the law you must be honest," is freedom, then, more of a burden than conformity? And, as long as we're quoting Bob Dylan, is it morally defensible to bootleg his recordings? The troubadour who has arguably given English more new phrases than any poet since Shakespeare—and earned the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature—Dylan has also warned us that "Counterfeit philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts." Quoting liberally from his many lyrical turns, this book compares pure philosophy to Dylan's mercurial, provocative ideas. As well as scrutinizing such philosophical issues raised by Dylan's poetry, this book from the Popular Culture and Philosophy series—in which scholars introduce authentic philosophical thought through famous voices in entertainment—also probes some puzzles about Dylan's own life and ideas. Has his thinking moved from Enlightenment social protest to postmodernist paralysis? Was Dylan's born-again experience a break with or a continuation of his vision of the world? And who is Dylan when he doesn't have his Bob Dylan mask on for Halloween?

"Sometimes a song is just a song. Sometimes it's a vision of life. Read this book. Do think twice, it's all right."—Alan Cheuse

"Dylan's work persistently re-examines some of the oldest and newest philosophical questions. The authors of this book do not treat him as a mysterious fount of wisdom but as a participant in a philosophical colloquy ranging across space and time. They respect him as an artist and address his work with the knowledge and rigor it deserves."—Mike Marqusee

"Who better to elucidate that quality of the Dylan canon that sets it apart from the bulk of popular music—its ability to stir the mind—than those professional thinkers hidden away in university philosophy departments? This witty, thought-provoking collection will be enjoyed by fans of Dylan and Derrida alike."—Michael J. Gilmour

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