The past several weeks have brought an incredible number of "calls for abstracts" for volumes in the various "pop culture and philosophy" series. As I've argued previously on this blog, these books are an embarrassment to our profession and should be boycotted. The enterprise reached a new low, however, this morning with the announcement of a volume on Spider-Man and Philosophy.
Yes, at first the idea of such a volume seems no more stupid and useless than the others. But wait. As is typical, the "call for abstracts" includes a rather long and random list of silly suggested paper topics. In addition to the obvious suggestions-- which involve nothing more than taking a perennial philosophical question and inserting Spider-Man into it (e.g., "Spider-Man and the problem of evil"; "Spider-Man and personal identity")-- there is the suggestion that one might write a paper on "Just how does Spidey-sense work?"
Finally the series becomes aware of itself: An open invitation to utter bullshit.