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YC philosophy instructor Andrew Winters

Fans of the hit Netflix series, “Stranger Things,” can look to the latest edition of “Pop Culture and Philosophy” to salve their obsession until season four releases in 2020. Or, they can take a philosophy class from one of the book’s co-editors, Yavapai College Professor Dr. Andrew Winters.

Winters is among the deep thinkers intrigued with “Stranger Things -- the show based in a 1980s Midwest small town and around a group of children navigating adolescence, monsters, government secrets and metaphysics. “I got into the show after I had enough students tell me I had to watch it. I actually don’t watch anything unless at least three people recommend it,” Winters said of his foray into Stranger Things fandom.

A contributing writer for previous editions of “Popular Culture and Philosophy,” Winters proposed the “Stranger Things” edition to the series publisher at the same time as his co-editor, Jeffrey A. Ewing. At the publisher’s suggestion, the two collaborated and “Stranger Things and Philosophy: Thus Spake the Demogorgon” cracked the Amazon Top 100 earlier this year.

The “Popular Culture and Philosophy” series, Winters said, “capitalizes on the fact that philosophy can be related to anything that anyone is already interested in.” So, watching the show, he said, “was a good opportunity to talk about philosophy in a way that my students were already receptive to.”

Raised in the 80s himself, Winters was drawn by the nostalgia and the memories “Stranger Things” invokes. “For those of us who were around, it reminds us of the world we left behind – the friendships, the adventures and the abilities to go outside at night on your bike without the electronic tether of a cell phone…” Winters wrote in the introduction for “Stranger Things and Philosophy.” The introduction continues, “For those of you who don’t recall the 1980s, Stranger Things offers you a glimpse of a world in which you were given freedom to create your own story instead of being given a fabricated silicone dream…”

Multiple other writers and scholars weigh in on just about every conceivable aspect of “Stranger Things” in the “Popular Culture and Philosophy” volume, because as Winters writes in his introduction, the show captured the imaginations of millions around the world while raising questions like, are all monsters evil? Why do we find horror so entertaining? What is the nature of friendship?

Winters is working on three additional philosophy books -- one of which is under contract. The academic discipline that fascinated him at an early age commands much of his time and attention. “It’s an affliction. I can’t do anything else. I have a deep love and passion for this field and wanting to share it with everyone.”

At Yavapai College, Winters shares his love of philosophy in public lectures, as the advisor to a philosophy and religion club, curating a “Film For Thought” series, and moderating a monthly “Socrates Café” at the Peregrine Book Co. in downtown Prescott.

“Philosophy changed my life in such as significant way that I want people to at least give philosophy a chance,” he said.

For information about philosophy course offerings at Yavapai College this spring, visit www.yc.edu/spring. For information about opportunities to wax philosophical with Winters and other like-minded folks, search for the Yavapai College Philosophy and Religion Club on Facebook.