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The Palgrave Handbook Of Popular Culture as Philosophy



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Grey’s Anatomy focuses on the personal and professional life of protagonist Meredith Grey. Throughout the long series, a consistent theme is that the audience is confronted with moral dilemmas in Meredith’s professional work with patients as well as in her personal life. Grey’s decision-making often breaks professional protocol in order to do what she believes is best for her patients and those close to her. We argue that Grey’s approach to morality is representative of Simone de Beauvoir’s approach in The Ethics of Ambiguity. In this text, Beauvoir argues that an existentialist ethic must reject a childlike approach to morality in which moral rules are absolute and moral dilemmas have obvious answers. Instead, she argues for a rejection of universalist ethics in favor of acknowledging the ambiguity of the moral realm. By tracing Meredith’s decision-making throughout the course of different seasons of the show, we argue that Meredith exemplifies an existential authenticity compatible with Beauvoir’s existentialist approach to ethics.

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Book Title: The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy

Book DOI

Editors: David Kyle Johnson, Dean A. Kowalski, Chris Lay, Kimberly S. Engels

Print ISBN 978-3-319-97134-6

Online ISBN 978-3-319-97134-6