The Puzzle of Personal Identity: How Comic Books Illuminate Real World Issues

Presented with Nowadays


The superhero genre of comic books lends itself to explorations concerning the metaphysical puzzles of personal identity over time. This Olio will survey storylines in the Marvel and DC universes involving characters such as Deadpool, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Rogue, Jean Grey, The Hulk, Swamp Thing, Batman, and Superman, which present thought experiments that raise questions about whether or not a person’s identity can survive radical physical changes, mind control, consciousness switching, memory deletion, memory absorption, and more! 

We will also discuss the ramifications of how we answer these questions about events in fictional universes on how we should understand our actual practices concerning identity and moral responsibility, criminality and mental illness in the real world.   




Location: Nowadays

56-06 Cooper Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385

Trees, ping pong, checkers, grass to lie in, fresh air, and the occasional passing freight train. Good food for meat eaters, veggies and vegans. Beer, sangria, fancy sodas and wine. Classes with Think Olio, a lovely Sunday afternoon dance, moonlit movies and regular ping pong tourneys. Dog friendly.


Sign up for the Think Olio x Nowadays Summer Pass to get all of the Tuesday night Olios until the end of August for just $40.


Other upcoming Olios


Aug 1

Envy, Greed, and the Common Good

Taught by Fernando Zapata
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $12

Aug 4

*OlioMuse* An Exploration of the String Quartet Across Time

Taught by Whitney George
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $25

Aug 11

*Double Feature* // Modern Art, the Work-Life Balance, and the Gig Economy

Taught by Two Olio Professors
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Aug 17

Thomas Paine and the Flame of Revolution

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at The Old Stone House

Sign Up - $15

Aug 26

1950s & Nostalgia: In Search of Greatness in the "Golden Age"

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7 p.m. at Atlas Studios // Newburgh, NY

Sign Up - $20

Aug 29

Sep 10

Meditations: A Wisdom of the Everyday

Taught by Michael Prettyman
4 p.m. at IDIO Gallery

Sign Up - $10


Find out when we launch new classes!

Official Partner with Penguin Press.