University of Exeter Press


How TV Series Change Our Thinking

    • 122 Pages

    This is the first book to explore the hold of TV series on our lives from a philosophical and ethical perspective. Sandra Laugier argues that this vital and ubiquitous expression of popular culture throughout the world is transformative in its effects on the activity of philosophy in everyday life. Drawing on Stanley Cavell’s work on film and ordinary experience, Laugier contends that we are deeply affected by the formative role played by the TV series we watch, and by the ways they become interconnected with our daily lives.

    The philosophical thinking embodied in series empowers individuals in their capacity to experience, understand and appropriate elements of the world, and to educate themselves. Through our relationships with TV series, we develop our own tastes and competences, which are constitutive of our distinct experience of life. ‘Series-philosophy’ is thus a democratizing force. It also offers us a new ethics, for morality can be found not in general rules and abstract principles but in the narrative texture of characters in everyday situations facing particular ethical problems, and with whom we form attachments that result in our moral education—in sometimes surprising ways.

    With her deep and unrivalled knowledge of everyday language philosophy, Sandra Laugier inaugurates a brilliant inquiry into the philosophical stakes of series-philosophy as embodied in TV serials. It does not matter in the end if one agrees or disagrees with any specific argument in TV Philosophy - what matters is how reading this book provides an education in what is called thinking.
    Veena Das, Research Professor, Johns Hopkins University

    This short but far-reaching book offers not only a thought-provoking argument for placing television series in conversation with philosophy, but a passionate plea to acknowledge their role in enabling what Stanley Cavell might have called a genuinely democratic form of moral education for grown-ups.

    Stephen Mulhall, Professor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

    1. An Education
    2. Forms of Shared Experience
    3. Family Resemblances
    4. Caring For, By, and With TV Series
    Serigraphy and Filmography

    Sandra Laugier, a former student at the Ecole normale supérieure and at Harvard University, is Professor of Philosophy at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. She has also held a number of visiting professorships, including those at Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Max Planck Institute, Berlin. She has published extensively on ordinary language philosophy (Wittgenstein, Austin, Cavell), moral and political philosophy, gender studies and the ethics of care, popular film, and TV series, and is the author of over 30 books in total, including Why We Need Ordinary Language Philosophy (2013), and Politics of the Ordinary: Care, Ethics, and Forms of Life (2020). She is a columnist at the French Journal Libération, and is the translator of Stanley Cavell’s work in French.

      • 122 Pages