The philosophy of calvin and hobbes

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the philosophy of calvin and hobbes

The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury by Bill Watterson

I was a teen and I was loving The Far Side, but then I found Calvin and Hobbes, and it was like going from sociology class to philosophy.

Im not saying one was better than the other. Im saying I felt like I was taking college classes, and I was loving it!


These strips werent about hitting you over the head with gags. They were nuanced takes on life. Watterson took a subtle approach to pointing out peoples foibles. If you were the least bit reflective, you could see yourself in Calvin. Some probably intentionally deflected any self recognition in Wattersons work, because what you saw wasnt always pleasant.

As a book, The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes allowed Watterson to carry a topic from one strip to the next without preamble. This meant that not every page was hilarious or even had a point to make. Some pages were just bridges, and thats okay, because as a whole that series of strips gained a certain gravitas that created more of a solidified book, which these comics collections often lack.

Earlier I said that I didnt think Watterson was necessarily better than Larson, but Id have to hand it to Watterson over Larson when it comes to drawing. Watterson had a steadier hand, better technique. But who cares? You dont read either of these comics for the artwork. Having said that, Watterson did flex his muscle occasionally, especially when he would let us enter Calvins dreamworld...


Often times the Calvin and Hobbes strip had a sarcastic edge or left you soured on humanity. Watterson clearly felt mankind needed improving and he used his strip to convey those feelings. However, kindness, the ray of light, and a general sort of sentimentality sometimes crept in and would make you sense that there was hope and a reason to fight on. Maybe Im reading too much into all of this, but thats what the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip meant to me.
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Thomas Hobbes and John Locke: Two Philosophers Compared

The Oddly Philosophical Genius of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’

The practice of philosophy is often reserved for the halls of higher learning. People assume that you need the capacity and resources to decipher ancient treatises in order to engage with philosophical inquiry. While this is certainly a valuable type of philosophical education, it does not all there is to the discipline. We might think of philosophy more generally as a way of thinking that involves using abstractions to understand more of the world around us. This sort of practice can be applied in various areas such as ethics and metaphysics.

Calvin and Hobbes is a daily comic strip created by American cartoonist Bill Watterson that was syndicated from November 18, to December 31, Commonly cited as "the last great newspaper comic", [2] [3] [4] Calvin and Hobbes has enjoyed broad and enduring popularity, influence and academic interest. Calvin and Hobbes follows the humorous antics of the titular characters : Calvin, a precocious, mischievous and adventurous six-year-old boy; and Hobbes , his sardonic stuffed tiger. Set in the contemporary suburban United States , the strip depicts Calvin's frequent flights of fancy and friendship with Hobbes. Hobbes' dual nature is a defining motif for the strip: to Calvin, Hobbes is a living anthropomorphic tiger, while all the other characters see Hobbes as an inanimate stuffed toy. Though the series does not mention specific political figures or contemporary events, it does explore broad issues like environmentalism , public education , philosophical quandaries and the flaws of opinion polls. At the height of its popularity, Calvin and Hobbes was featured in over 2, newspapers worldwide.

I never realized quite how philosophical it was— Calvin and Hobbes is an homage to the protestant theologian John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes :. For example we think if we buy a new car, home, camera, phone, gadget, clothes, etc — it will bring us lasting joy; but it never does! Live life to the fullest Life with danger and adventure, not stupefying safety: Take risks, and live life on the edge! Being clever! On Money Minimalist story telling Also the ability for kids to be creative and innovative on their own! On war and peace On the futility of weapons: Surrealism Innovative creative storytelling Inside the mind of a child. As adults we should think more creatively — like children!

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Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes is one of the most widely revered comic strips of all time. You could pin Calvin and Hobbes ' success to its humor, its artwork, its creativity, or — probably the most frequent commendation — its capacity to speak to the kid inside readers of all ages. Over at The Wall Street Journal , Christopher Caldwell takes a more metaphysical tack, attributing the comic's sweeping impact to its subtle philosophical profundity:. It is [Calvin's] dreams that are the real subject of the strips: the city of Stupidopolis that Calvin builds out of sand castles and destroys, the Transmogrifier actually a cardboard box that will turn him into a tiger like Hobbes, the efforts of Stupendous Man to duck schoolwork and of Spaceman Spiff "poised precariously over a percolating pit of putrid pasta" to avoid the inedible meals that Calvin's mother serves. Calvin's own preference is for a breakfast cereal called Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs. From these situations emerges a social and a philosophical vision, unsystematic but nonetheless profound. The late political scientist James Q.


  1. Palas M. says:

    Teaching Philosophy with Calvin and Hobbes – Philosophy For Children at Tufts

  2. Amabella F. says:

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  3. Patrick G. says:

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  5. Farisa E. says:

    In a nod to his political science classes in college, creator Bill Watterson named Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th-century theologian and reformer, and Hobbes after the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes.

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