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Is Don Draper a good man?
What do Peggy, Betty, and Joan teach us about gender equality?
What are the ethics of advertising—or is that a contradiction in terms?
Is Roger Sterling an existential hero?
We're better people than we were in the sixties, right?
With its swirling cigarette smoke, martini lunches, skinny ties, and tight pencil skirts, Mad Men is unquestionably one of the most stylish, sexy, and irresistible shows on television. But the series becomes even more absorbing once you dig deeper into its portrayal of the changing social and political mores of 1960s America and explore the philosophical complexities of its key characters and themes. From Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to John Kenneth Galbraith, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand, Mad Men and Philosophy brings the thinking of some of history's most powerful minds to bear on the world of Don Draper and the Sterling Cooper ad agency. You'll gain insights into a host of compelling Mad Men questions and issues, including happiness, freedom, authenticity, feminism, Don Draper's identity, and more—and have lots to talk about the next time you find yourself around the water cooler.
ROD CARVETH is an assistant professor in the department of Communications Media at Fitchburg State College.
JAMES B. SOUTH is chair of the philosophy department at Marquette University. He edited Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy and James Bond and Philosophy.
WILLIAM IRWIN is a professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including Batman and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Twilight and Philosophy.