Home Lifestyle A UK university is teaching a course on The Simpsons
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A UK university is teaching a course on The Simpsons

A UK university is teaching a course on The Simpsons
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Do you spend your weekday evenings sat in front of the TV, waiting for 6pm to roll around and Channel 4 to play that familiar theme tune to start an episode you have probably watched about 100 times already but still find yourself laughing at every time? If the answer is yes, and you are in fact a Simpsons fan, then this one of a kind class at Glasgow University is definitely for you.

The bizarre class

In the past we’ve talked about a Durham student doing her dissertation on the Kardashians (and getting a first!) but this philosophy class titled D’OH The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy really is something else.

Glasgow university is offering students the chance to study the family and all the crazy characters in the fictional town of Springfield in March 2017.

Over the course of the one-day class, students will study the moral moments and the moments of realisation in the US comedy.

They will focus on specific characters and episodes, exploring typical philosophical themes such as morality, religion and free will.

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Behind the doughnuts and the Duff beer…

Philosophy tutor Dr John Donaldson told the BBC he was a big fan of the animated series and that there was a lot that we could learn from Homer Simpson.

Behind the doughnuts and the beer, Dr Donaldson described Homer as a “complex character”.

“He’s very gluttonous, he can be quite violent and self-interested. But at the same time he’s a character that’s hard not to like.

“He’s very popular. He has a childlike joy of life, he’s open to doing the right thing and he’s a faithful family man,” he said.

What does the Simpsons teach us about life?

Dr Donaldson told the BBC that there are a lot of moments in the TV show that make viewers think about what is really important in life.

He hopes that by teaching this class he can introduce students to the key ideas of some of the greatest philosophers in history such as Aristotle, Kant, Mill and Camus.

He also hopes that the class will allow students to further explore the moral moments in the show before debating over whether or not they think Homer is a virtuous character.

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The history of the hit TV show

The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening, first aired on TV in 1989. Since then over 600 episodes of the comedy have been created and the show is currently on season 28.

It is the longest running American sitcom and the longest running animated American show in history.

In his interview with the BBC Dr Donaldson said: “I like the Simpsons because it’s a great work of art. It’s a cartoon of a great tapestry. There’s so much going on in it.”

So, if you’re a student at Glasgow Uni and fancy taking the special class you can book yourself a place on the 6-hour course in March for £30 – but be quick, places are filling up fast!

And maybe even bring a doughnut or some Duff beer to thank long-time Simpson’s fan Dr Donaldson for helping you understand Homer and his quirky behaviour just a little bit more.

Ciara McGinley Journalism student at Kingston Univeristy, London

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