Harry Potter and Philosophy

Harry Potter and Philosophy

If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

Book - 2004
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Baker & Taylor
Urging readers of the Harry Potter series to dig deeper than wizards, boggarts, and dementors, the authors of this unique guide collect the musings of seventeen philosophers on the series, who cover a wide range of Potter-related philosophical issues, including the difference between good and evil, the ethics of sorcery, and Aristotle's own school for wizards. Original.

Perseus Publishing
In Harry Potter and Philosophy, seventeen philosophical experts unlock some of Hogwarts' secret panels, and uncover surprising insights that are enlightening both for wizards and the most discerning muggles.

Harry Potter has put a spell on millions of readers, and they all want to find out more about the deeper meaning of his adventures. In Harry Potter and Philosophy, 17 experts in the field of philosophy unlock some of Hogwarts' secret panels, uncovering surprising insights that are enlightening both for wizards and for the most discerning muggles. Individual chapters look at such topics as life revealed in the Mirror of Erised; the ethics of magic; Moaning Myrtle, Nearly Headless Nick, and the relation of the mind to the brain; and the character of Hermione as a case of "sublimated feminism." Also examined in this witty collection are how Aristotle would have run a school for wizards; whether the Potter stories undermine religion and morality; how to tell good people from evil ones through the characters in these novels; and what dementors and boggarts can teach readers about happiness, fear, and the soul.

Book News
Academic philosophers apply their field to the popular series of children's books and subsequent movies about a boy wizard going to wizard school. They cover the characters, morality, the dark arts, and metaphysics. Readers are expected to be intimately familiar with the books. There is no index. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : Open Court, [2004]
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9780812694550
Branch Call Number: 823.914 Harry 2004
Characteristics: x, 243 pages ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Baggett, David
Klein, Shawn


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Mar 12, 2013

Another book in a series that uses pop culture to spark discussion of philosophical ideas and subjects.

I found this book a little easier to follow than the others in the series I'd read. This is partly because the Potter books are aimed at teen readers, so the philosophers who contributed essays to this collection also aimed at teen readers. The language is therefore a bit easier to follow and concepts are more clearly explained than is typical in "adult" philosophy. The essays look at topics like courage, morality (a particularly interesting essay on Harry's disregard for the Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare discusses what makes one an immoral person), ambition, magic, the metaphysics of magical teleportation, and the difference between real experience and the illusions of the Mirror of Erised.

There are some really though-provoking ideas here, well and engagingly presented.


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