As fans of Mad Men eagerly await the season premiere Sunday night, a Wisconsinite helps people take a philosophical look at the TV drama, which portrays advertising agencies in the 1960’s. James South, Chair of the Marquette University Philosophy Department, helped edit Mad Men and Philosophy: Nothing is as it Seems.
The book takes a closer look at the AMC drama citing the works of well known minds including Ayn Rand. Rand has been referenced on the show as a boss of the main character Don Draper suggested he read her books.
Draper’s womanizing and competitive business practices have also been attributed as an example of Rand’s “virtue of selfishness.” However, South says an author in the book dispels this comparison as the Randian principle centers around being a unique individual, making their mark on the world, rather than “do whatever you feel like doing.”
Fans of the show, philosophers and, most of all, the general public would enjoy the book says South.
Authors also approach ethical questions about advertising and 1960’s social mores about women, gays and minorities.