Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter

Richard Greene, George A. Reisch, Rachel Robison

Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter
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Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter

Richard Greene, George A. Reisch, Rachel Robison

What explains the huge popular following for Dexter, a show which sympathetically depicts a serial killer driven by a cruel compulsion to brutally slay one victim after another? Although Dexter Morgan kills only killers, he is not a vigilante animated by a sense of justice but a charming psychopath animated by a lust to kill, ritualistically and bloodily. In Dexter and Philosophy, an elite team of philosophers don their rubber gloves and put Dexter’s deeds under the microscope. Since Dexter is driven to ritual murder by his ‘Dark Passenger’, can he be blamed for killing, especially as he only murders other murderers? Does Dexter fit the profile of the familiar fictional type of the superhero? What part does luck play in making Dexter who he is? How and why are horror and disgust turned into aesthetic pleasure for the TV viewer?

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