BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Date of Submission



Dr. Irfan Mohammad, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


This research project analyzes the comedic drama-filled sitcom called “The Good Place.”. The 2019 television series follows the afterlife of the 4 main characters: Chidi Anagonye, Eleanor Shellstrop, Tahani Al-Jamil, and Jason Mendoza. The show itself invites philosophical questions such as “What is morality?” and “Can humans be truly moral?” Through my textual analysis, the paper made use of different philosophical ideas by famous philosophers and applied them to the TV show.

The Good Place by Michael Schur combines humor and philosophy. Chidi Anagonye is a morally conscious professor of moral philosophy. Eleanor Shellstrop is his soulmate—a concept that persists in the afterlife—who has not led a very ethical life. The other two main characters are also soulmates, Tahani Al-Jamil who is a pompous person who has only ever done good things in life to impress her parents and be better than her sister. Her soulmate, Jason Mendoza is showcased as a deeply immoral man with no direction in life whatsoever, who is from Florida and committed several crimes during his life. All the characters, morally corrupt, are seen together in a shared afterlife called “The Good Place.”

As the story unfolds, it becomes very clear how the system works. The heavenly place is called 'The Good Place', where the residents are given rewards for carrying out good deeds.

However, it is soon found that 'The Good Place' is flawed. After observing and living through multiple lives and consistently being rebooted, the residents discover that the system is set up very rigidly. This leads to some extreme outcomes. (Schur)

The Good Place is an excellent example of how classic ethical theories can be applied in contemporary media. This work will highlight some key implications of Kantian philosophy and Hume's theory of human nature that are particularly relevant in today's world. Furthermore, it will show how morality can be examined through various theoretical frameworks to produce a better insight into the current social and moral landscape.



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