"The Costanza Maneuver: is it rational for George to 'Do the Opposite'"?
This is one of my favorites. Not only is it interesting but it cleaves to Seinfeld as much as to the philosophy. I'd say this is one of the better essays in that regard.
The title of this episode refers to the season five episode "The Opposite" where George realizes that his every instinct has been wrong so Jerry (jokingly) advises him to do the opposite of what his instincts tell him. In pursuit of determining if this is a truly rational thing to do, the author of the essay uses concepts such as the Three Kinds of Rationality (minimum, median and maximum) and employs a test; it is rational if it is both feasible and reliable.
The author of the essay also speaks of the comical mechanics in this central joke of the episode. Neither George nor the audience expects the Costanza Maneuver to work and the contrast with its great success is both startling and baffling. It's also about George's neurosis; that's always funny.
Seinfeld, Subjectivity and Sartre
Seinfeld and the Moral Life
The author of this essay attempts to prove that the four main cast members are kind and compassionate people who regularly try to do the morally correct thing; yes all four of them. While I disagree I'm more put off by the faulty logic and reasoning in this essay.
Before starting the argument to prove this, the author of the essay first separates "integrity" from the idea of "being moral" because someone can be a horrible immoral person with great integrity. While this is sound enough it also means there is less land to defend. When the author of the essay begins their defense of their argument they point to the few actions that could be interpreted as good and kind and ignores the context. It's cherry picking.
There are others in this essay that I greatly enjoyed such as "J. Peterman the Ideological Mind: Paradoxes of Subjectivity" and the "Elaine Benes: Feminist Icon or Just One of The Boys". There are only one or two that I disliked and that's more about disagreement or whatever.
Trickster Eric Novels gives "Seinfeld and Philosophy" an A
Click here for the next book review (a review request): Crik
Click here for my previous book review (a review request): Fae
Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).