Seinfeld And Non Action: The Philosophy Of Nothing Essay

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Seinfeld and Non Action: the Philosophy of Nothing

One of the best Kanye West tweets is “I want to publicly apologize to Seinfeld, I used to think it was a show about nothing but then I realized it’s a show about everything”. Jerry Seinfeld and Laozi hold plenty of similarities. This paper will identify the similarities between Seinfeld and Daoism theoretically, with examples from the show to back it up. It will also explore how western culture has unknowingly embraced some Daoist concepts, like Seinfeld. Finally, it analyze some of the critical differences between the hit 90’s sitcom and true Daoist thought. Influences of Daoist philosophy resonate everywhere in the western world, even on TBS’s 6:00 show. If there was to be one great philosophy about nothing, Daoism would be it. One of the key aspects of Daoism is to act upon one’s natural way. In
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The Dao is explained in the Daodejing as “empty yet you may keep drawing from it as though it could never fill your need.” Similarly, Seinfeld is a show that engages all sorts of topics and things that no other television sitcom would ever bother to. Topics range from pretzels and thirst to boys in bubbles. While this isn’t a great demonstration of the Dao is best understood as, these diverse matters of life parallel the universal connections found in Daoist thought. These universal themes can be found even in America today. Perhaps unbeknownst to them, Western culture has a wide range of influence from Ancient Chinese philosophy. The most obvious form of influence is Adam Smith and his concept of the “invisible hand”. The invisible hand is a term used to describe the social benefits from individual action. Adam Smith was a free market economist. Free market economists formed what is now present day Capitalism. While it is unknown if Adam Smith spent some time flipping through the Daodejing, the invisible hand clearly reflects the chapters on governing with

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