A Scottish university has launched a new philosophy course based on the universally popular family cartoon The Simpsons.
The course, called ‘D’oh! The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy’ will look at the long-running animated series to introduce students to philosophy.
Students at the University of Glasgow will examine the often drink-induced ramblings of Homer Simpson alongside more traditional thinkers such as Aristotle, Socrates and Voltaire.
It will be open to all comers but the £30 day-course is expected to be over-subscribed.
Dr John Donaldson, a tutor of philosophy at the university, explained that the show’s creator Matt Groening was a student of philosophy and that was evident in each episode.
He said: “Matt Groening, the man behind The Simpsons, was a student of philosophy, and that comes through in each episode.
“The Simpsons is a very sophisticated work of popular culture, with a broad scope and depth, and is full of philosophical themes.
“Very pleasingly, the course has proved to be incredibly popular on social media. It has gone viral. We’ve never really had a response like this before.”
It will not just look at the family patriarch of Homer but will also consider the morality of his rebellious son Bart.
In particular, students will examine an early episode of the series where Bart cheats on an intelligence test and ends up being sent to a school for gifted children.
The course literature introducing the class states: “The Simpsons is one of the modern world’s greatest cultural artefacts partly because it is so full of philosophy.
“Aristotle, Kant, Marx, Camus, and many other great thinkers’ ideas are represented in what is arguably the purest of philosophical forms: the comic cartoon.
“This day-school will explore some of philosophy’s most inspiring ideas as presented in Matt Groening’s monument to the absurdities of human existence.”
It aims to develop students’ critical and analytical skills through engagement with philosophical discourse.
The day-school will run on Saturday January 14, 2017 at 10am for five hours.
The Simpsons returned to the headlines in recent weeks for accurately predicting a Donald Trump presidency 16 years ago.
In the episode, Bart to the Future, Lisa Simpson is picking up the pieces of a disastrous reign by the billionaire tycoon who left behind “quite a budget crunch.”