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Goldberg, Nathaniel and Chris Gavaler. "Watchmen as Philosophy: Illustrating time and free will." The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy 2021. Accessed 11 Jan. 2024. <https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97134-6_89-1>. 
Added by: joachim (1/10/24, 8:02 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (1/11/24, 12:32 PM)
Resource type: Web Article
Language: en: English
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-97134-6_89-1
BibTeX citation key: Goldberg2021
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Watchmen", Gibbons. Dave, Moore. Alan, Philosophy, United Kingdom, USA
Creators: Engels, Gavaler, Goldberg, Johnson, Kowalski, Lay
Publisher: Springer (Cham)
Collection: The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy
Views: 18/89
Attachments   URLs   https://doi.org/10 ... 3-319-97134-6_89-1
Abstract
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen may be the most acclaimed graphic novel of the twentieth century. This chapter examines how it explores two metaphysical questions: What is the nature of time? Does free will exist? Moore and Gibbons explore these questions together, illuminating connections between time and free will through connections between the graphic novel's form and content. The chapter introduces three views of the nature of time: presentism, the view that only the present exists; growing-universe theory, the view that only the present and past exist; and eternalism, the view that past, present, and future exist. Because of Moore and Gibbons' distinct use of images and words within the visual structure and their depiction of a character who is simultaneously aware of past, present, and future events, the chapter deduces that the operative view in Watchmen is eternalism. After discussing three views of the existence of free will, the chapter then argues that eternalism entails that people could not have acted otherwise than they actually acted. Hence the operative view in Watchmen is either determinism, according to which no one has free will because no one could have done otherwise, or compatibilism, according to which people can have free will because having it merely requires having acted. The chapter concludes that the operative view is compatibilism. Finally it responds to the objection that compatibilism is mistaken. If no one could have done otherwise, then determinism must be true.
  
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