Glasgow University offers Homer Simpson philosophy class
The University of Glasgow is to offer a philosophy course which examines whether Homer Simpson is a "virtuous" character.
The one-day course will take moments from The Simpsons and relate them to philosophical questions around morality, religion and free will.
Philosophy tutor Dr John Donaldson said beer-swilling Homer was a "complex character" who was hard not to like.
The Simpsons was created by Matt Groening and first aired in 1989.
It is the longest-running US sitcom and the longest-running US animated programme.
Dr Donaldson said the course - which is called "D'oh! The Simpsons Introduce Philosophy" - was designed for members of the public who had an interest in philosophy.
The course is being run on 14 and 21 January - though the earlier date has already sold out, the university said.
It takes popular themes from philosophy and applies them to different episodes and characters in the Simpsons.
- On children
"A boy without mischief is like a bowling ball without a liquid centre."
"Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail."
- On beer
"Beer. Now there's a temporary solution."
"When will I learn? The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle, they're on TV!"
- On cartoons
"Oh, Marge, cartoons don't have any deep meaning. They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
In particular, the course examines Aristotle's classic account of a virtuous character and compares it to Homer. The budding philosophers will then debate arguments for and against whether they consider Homer virtuous.
Homer is a very complex character in many ways," Dr Donaldson said.
"He's very gluttonous, he can be quite violent and self-interested. But at the same time he's a character that's hard not to like.
"He's very popular. He has a childlike joy of life, he's open to doing the right thing and he's a faithful family man."
Dr Donaldson, who is a long-term fan of the show, said the cartoon had a rich seam of moments for a philosopher to plunder, with many episodes having a moral and a moment of realisation.
"I like the Simpsons because it's a great work of art. It's a cartoon of a great tapestry. There's so much going on in it," he said.
"It encourages you to reflect on what's important in life."