Wojtas, Paweł: "Taking a leap in the dark. The ethics of Batman." In: European Journal of American Culture 38.2 (2019), S. 169–184.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Wojtas2019
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Keywords: "Batman", Ethics, Justice, Philosophy, Superhero, USA
Collection: European Journal of American Culture
This article attempts to locate Batman’s ethical code, as represented in selected DC comic books and film adaptations, within western philosophical tradition to measure the extent to which Batman typifies a deontologist stance or whether his singular sense of duty is inspired by other non-duty-based schools of thought. The point of departure for philosophical deliberations on the Batman ethics is Bruce Wayne’s childhood pledge to war on criminals, which is regulated by his cardinal and unwavering principle to never take the life of his adversaries. Considering the ramifications of this principle (multiple deaths dealt out by his archenemies) and other complicating factors relating to the inconsistencies within the Batman canon, Batman’s ethical code constitutes a complex case in point for both philosophers and scholars of jurisprudence. Therefore, although seemingly more duty-based than utilitarian, Batman’s ethics refuses to be exhausted by such clear-cut dualisms. Therefore, this article interrogates the blind spots of Batman’s moral code to account for the ways in which it aligns itself with or eschews conventional ethical categories and modern legal standards.
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