“I’m getting something,” says Shawn, assuming a look of intense concentration and pressing his fingertips to the sides of his head. Shawn Spencer uses lies, pretense, and distraction to get at the truth. But can pseudoscience and fakery really be so helpful? And if they can be, is it ethical to employ them? Psych and Philosophy takes an entertaining tour through the philosophical issues raised by a fake psychic. Can faulty logic get to the truth quicker than good logic? Are other people to blame for Shawn’s deceptions, because they’re more ready to credit him with supernatural powers than with superior natural powers? Is instinct more important than smart thinking—in police work and in life? Is it ethical to tell lies to promote the truth (and protect the public from criminals)? Almost every episode of Psych revolves around a grisly death, treated humorously by the repartee between Shawn and Gus. The show has much to tell us about human ways of coping with death, as well as about the problem of justified knowledge, the ethics of law enforcement, and the interaction of love, friendship, loyalty, and professionalism.
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