Fight Club  book cover
1st Edition

Fight Club

Edited By

Thomas Wartenberg

ISBN 9780415781893
Published November 7, 2011 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

Released in 1999, Fight Club is David Fincher’s popular adaption of Chuck Palahniuk’s cult novel, and one of the most philosophically rich films of recent years. This is the first book to explore the varied philosophical aspects of the film. Beginning with an introduction by the editor that places the film and essays in context, each chapter explores a central theme of Fight Club from a philosophical perspective. Topics discussed include:

  • Fight Club, Plato’s cave and Descartes’ cogito
  • moral disintegration
  • identity, gender and masculinity
  • visuals and narration.

Including annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Fight Club is essential reading for anyone interested in the film, as well as those studying philosophy and film studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Thomas E. Wartenberg  2. Have I Been Understood? – Dionysus vs. Ikea-Boy Murray Skees  3. Trying to be a Man in a Leveled-Down World Charles Guignon  4. There’s Something About Marla: Fight Club and the Engendering of Self-Respect Cynthia A. Stark  5. Unraveling the Twists of Fight Club George M. Wilson and Sam Shpall  6. Cogito Ergo Film: Plato, Descartes and Fight Club Nancy Bauer  7.  Fight Club as Romantic Comedy Ben Caplan.  Index

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Thomas E. Wartenberg is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College, USA. He is author of the Routledge book Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy (2007), Existentialism: A Beginner’s Guide (2008), and Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy Through Children’s Literature (2009). He is editor (with Cynthia Freeland) of Philosophy and Film (1995), also available from Routledge.


'An exciting, thoughtful, and punchy collection of essays exploring the complex screening of philosophical ideas in Fincher’s Fight Club, including reflections on identity, gender, consumerism, nihilism, narration, reason versus the passions, and romantic comedy. A stimulating and enjoyable read for philosophers, theorists, students and film fans alike.' - Robert Sinnerbrink, Macquarie University, Australia