Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy
Darkness on the Edge of Truth
Edited by Randall E. Auxier and Doug Anderson
Vol. 32 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series
Podcast of chapter 8, "An Everlasting Kiss: The Seduction of Wendy," By Randall E. Auxier, now available
The working man's poet, the Boardwalk prophet, or simply, the Boss. If "love is a banquet at which we feed," Bruce Springsteen has provided much food for thought. Ponder love, madness, and mansions of glory. In this collection of metaphysical probes, a gang of E-street philosophers will undress Bruce's deeper mysteries like irresistible Jersey girls. So, drop those brats at your mom's, come down to the river, and learn how to step in it twice.
Fourteen philosophers examine everything Springsteen. Can Springsteen settle the nature-nurture debate through his song "Born to Run"? What do the famous philosopher Ricoeur and Springsteen have in common in their depiction of time? These die-hard Springsteen fans, who just happen to be philosophers, compile an entertaining handbook to the field of Springsteen studies, covering topics like Springsteen's connection to Marx and the proletariat, Springsteen's concept of the soul, and his status as a poet.
Sure to delight any fan of Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy takes the reader to a new, deeper understanding of Springsteen, his music, and his place in American culture.
"Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy is for every music fan who’s ever gotten into an argument about a Springsteen lyric. Providing a road map to the Boss’s journey of ideas, here are nineteen accessible explorations of the philosophical dimensions of his songs and his relationship to his audience."
—Theodore Gracyk, author of Rhythm and Noise and Listening to Popular Music
"Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy is essential reading for all of us who learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school."
—Sarfraz Manzoor, author of Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion, Rock'n'roll
"There are profound philosophical questions raised by—and, directly, in—Springsteen's lyrics, and they're contemplated here. But, blessedly, Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy never forgets that our guy is, first and foremost, a musician. It takes into account all aspects of his work, delving into the sounds, the rhythms, the cultural concerns, the storytelling tradition, the 'ethics of encores' (for godssakes), and the songs as songs, not merely as poems or prose."
—Christopher Phillips, editor of Backstreets Magazine
Randall E. Auxier is a professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the editor of the prestigious Library of Living Philosophers series and of the Personalist Forum.
Doug Anderson is a professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of Strands of System: The Philosophy of Charles Peirce (1995) and Philosophy Americana: Making Philosophy at Home in American Culture (2006).