It's all gone to shit

Of superheroes and Socrates

It may seem like a simple comic strip to most of us—the proportion with a life—but the tribulations of your everyday, common-or-garden superhero are a philosophical minefield. Even if you don't think of it that way.

Wouldn't it make life a lot easier for the superhero if they were to do away with their arch nemesis for good, rather than putting them away only for them to escape and commit more crime? Or why not opt for the easy life, rather than the solitude of the lonesome vigilante?

Enter philosopher Immanuel Kant and the deontological theory of ethics.

Katie Connolly, Teaching philosophy with Spider-Man, BBC News

And I'm sure that's exactly what all Marvel comic readers are thinking.

The superheroes have been recruited to another cause…teaching philosophy. Or, rather, being used as a less boring metaphor in teaching the discipline because, of course, superheroes are woefully equiped to teach philosophy themselves. With the possible exception of Übermensch, that is.

But I can't help but think that there's another, more prosaic, reason why the superhero must take up the fight against evil, yet at the same time cannot vanquish his/her enemy with extreme prejudice for good.

It's called circulation. You need to keep the reader coming back for more. I wonder, do they teach that in philosophy class, or reserve it for business studies? (thinking)