In this Book

The Philosophy of the Western
summary
The western is arguably the most iconic and influential genre in American cinema. The solitude of the lone rider, the loyalty of his horse, and the unspoken code of the West render the genre popular yet lead it to offer a view of America’s history that is sometimes inaccurate. For many, the western embodies America and its values. In recent years, scholars had declared the western genre dead, but a steady resurgence of western themes in literature, film, and television has reestablished the genre as one of the most important. In The Philosophy of the Western, editors Jennifer L. McMahon and B. Steve Csaki examine philosophical themes in the western genre. Investigating subjects of nature, ethics, identity, gender, environmentalism, and animal rights, the essays draw from a wide range of westerns including the recent popular and critical successes Unforgiven (1992), All the Pretty Horses (2000), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), and No Country for Old Men (2007), as well as literature and television serials such as Deadwood. The Philosophy of the Western reveals the influence of the western on the American psyche, filling a void in the current scholarship of the genre.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. INTRODUCTION: Philosophy and the Western
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Part 1: THE COWBOY WAY: The Essence of the Western Hero
  2. p. 11
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  1. “DO NOT FORSAKE ME, OH, MY DARLING”: Loneliness and Solitude in Westerns
  2. pp. 13-29
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  1. CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS: The Self-Sufficient Western Hero
  2. pp. 31-53
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  1. MOMMAS, DON’T LET YOUR BABIES GROW UP TO BE PRAGMATISTS
  2. pp. 55-69
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  1. TWO WAYS TO YUMA: Locke, Liberalism, and Western Masculinity in 3:10 to Yuma
  2. pp. 69-87
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  1. LANDSCAPES OF GENDERED VIOLENCE: Male Love and Anxiety on the Railroad
  2. pp. 89-110
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  1. Part 2: THE CODE OF THE WEST: The Cowboy and Society
  2. p. 111
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  1. “ORDER OUT OF THE MUD”: Deadwood and the State of Nature
  2. pp. 113-138
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  1. ORDER WITHOUT LAW: The Magnificent Seven, East and West
  2. pp. 139-147
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  1. FROM DOLLARS TO IRON: The Currency of Clint Eastwood's Westerns
  2. pp. 149-169
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  1. THE DUTY OF REASON: Kantian Ethics in High Noon
  2. pp. 171-183
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  1. Part 3: OUTL AWS: Challenging Conventions of the Western
  2. p. 185
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  1. THE COST OF THE CODE: Ethical Consequences in High Noon and The Ox-Bow Incident
  2. pp. 187-201
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  1. “BACK OFF TO WHAT?”: Th e Search for Meaning in The Wild Bunch
  2. pp. 203-220
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  1. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: The Decline of Ethics and the West(urn)
  2. pp. 221-239
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  1. THE NORTHWESTERN: McCabe and Mrs. Miller
  2. pp. 241-257
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  1. Part 4: ON THE FRINGE: The Encounter with the Other
  2. p. 259
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  1. SAVAGE NATIONS: Native Americans and the Western
  2. pp. 261-290
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  1. REGENERATION THROUGH STORIES AND SONG: The View from the Other Side of the West in Smoke Signals
  2. pp. 291-307
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  1. GO WEST, YOUNG WOMAN!: Hegel’s Dialectic and Women’s Identities in Western Films
  2. pp. 309-327
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  1. BEATING A LIVE HORSE: The Elevation and Degradation of Horses in Westerns
  2. pp. 329-350
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  1. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
  2. pp. 351-354
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  1. CONTRIBUTORS
  2. pp. 355-358
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  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 359-368
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  1. Back Cover
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