Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"...And now for something completely different" -- Monty Python and Philosophy


When one hears the name "Monty Python" many of us naturally feel the urge to follow it with "and the Holy Grail", the film titled by the sum of both parts being the surrealist comedy group's most successful and widely popular works. In turn, our idea of "Monty Python" might consist mostly of the silly knights we see in the film dancing and singing in Camelot about how they eat "ham and jam and spam a lot", or perhaps the killer Rabbit of Caerbannog; regardless, what we might not think about when we think of Monty Python is the vast span of philosophical ideas jammed just underneath that surface of silliness and characteristically deadpan British humour.

Out of all of these, which stretch out across all three of Monty Python's major motion pictures as well as all fourty-five episodes of the sketch comedy program "Monty Python's Flying Circus", the three major points that I have chosen to explore in my presentation are those found mostly in the two films besides the Holy Grail, "The Life of Brian" and "The Meaning of Life". These three major points specifically deal with Monty Python's criticisms of religion, transcendentalism, and happiness through utilitarianism and their relationship to the ideals of other noteworthy philosophers.

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