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Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts (2004)

par David Baggett, Shawn E. Klein

Autres auteurs: Gregory Bassham (Contributeur), Catherine Jack Deavel (Contributeur), David Paul Deavel (Contributeur), Jason T. Eberl (Contributeur), Mimi R. Gladstein (Contributeur)11 plus, Diana Mertz Hsieh (Contributeur), William Irwin (Series editor), Benjamin J. Bruxvoort Lipscomb (Contributeur), Gareth B. Matthews (Contributeur), Tom Morris (Contributeur), Steven W. Patterson (Contributeur), Michael Silberstein (Contributeur), W. Christopher Stewart (Contributeur), Harald Throsrud (Contributeur), Jerry L. Walls (Contributeur), Jennifer Hart Weed (Contributeur)

Séries: Popular Culture and Philosophy (9)

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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 feminis.… (plus d'informations)
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A somewhat didactic and uninspiring beginning actually yields some very provocative and fruitful chapters on philosophical ideas within the first five Harry Potter books. I do recommend this book quite a bit, and there is an excellent why-Christians-shouldn't-be-afraid-of-Harry-Potter chapter that is really worth it. Embedded within it is a terrific defense of literary imagination to augment and strengthen your faith. Singing. My. Song. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Interesting lever by which to introduce some fundamental questions (and occasional answers) in philosophy. Made accessible by drawing upon illustrations from the Harry Potter books (but only through The Order of the Phoenix), sketches in moral psychology, metaphysics, and ethical problems give the reader a relaxed, pleasant moment to ponder the big questions. ( )
  dono421846 | Apr 8, 2017 |
Entertaining in spots, but overall too lightweight and, oddly enough, too generic to satisfy either philosophy buffs or Harry Potter fans. The best essays are those that tackle a specific topic (such as why Dumbledore warns Harry about the Mirror of Erised) and explore it in real depth. Most, however, only talk in a general way about themes and characters (and not even the entire series, as this came out before Books 6 and 7 -- my misfortune to get this earlier version and not "The Ultimate Harry Potter ...", which covers all of them). This leads to arguments that are superficial or too short, and too much overlap and even repetition of certain quotes. I also was annoyed by one writer's confusion of Apparating with Portkey use, and another's discussing self-sacrifice only in the context of Jesus on the cross, though others might not have the same issues I did.

I'm not sorry I read the book, but I was glad I'd only borrowed it via my Kindle. The next time I read an entry in the "... and Philosophy" series, I'll probably try one of the later ones, since the Red Sox one I just finished was more recent and considerably better developed. ( )
1 voter bostonian71 | Aug 1, 2014 |
The moral of the Harry Potter books could come straight from Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." The Potter universe is, after all, our universe... and more.

This book attempts to extend philosophy to cover the new ground J. K. Rowling has offered. It is, of course, a gimmick, and a gimmick that would have been far better done had the authors waited until the Potter books were finished (the essays were written in the period between books five and six).

Still, there is much of value here. The argument for why Slytherin House should be permitted to continue is profound; the Boethian analysis of good and evil is appealing if perhaps not entirely sound (and, incidentally, show the links between Rowling and the medieval romances, many of which were deeply influenced by Boethius); the discussion of the Mirror of Erised is a brilliant case of extending from a specific case to a general rule.

On the other hand, I came away feeling, "Is that all there is?" The link to Boethius, for instance, is handled far better in studies of Chaucer, and is also a big part of Tom Shippey's studies of J. R. R. Tolkien. As a first look at the topic, the essays in this book are not bad, but they are relatively lightweight. I do not know if this is true of the other topics -- I'm not a philosopher -- but philosophy is supposed to be more profound than this.

And there are a few weak items. The introduction strives much too hard to use "Potterian" language, which is both ambiguous and an artistic failure. The discussion of free will versus determinism that ends the book does a decent job of setting out the problem but gives what is ultimately an arbitrary solution. The discussion of house elves and freedom would be far better informed if the author had realized that house elves are a minor variation on the traditional brownies, and that the changes Rowling made are potentially very significant.

I guess what I'm saying is that this is a fun and interesting, but ultimately lightweight, book. I hope that someday someone will produce a similar book that is not so compromised. ( )
1 voter waltzmn | Mar 24, 2014 |
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» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (1 possible)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Baggett, Davidauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Klein, Shawn E.auteur principaltoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Bassham, GregoryContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Deavel, Catherine JackContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Deavel, David PaulContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Eberl, Jason T.Contributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Gladstein, Mimi R.Contributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Hsieh, Diana MertzContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Irwin, WilliamSeries editorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Lipscomb, Benjamin J. BruxvoortContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Matthews, Gareth B.Contributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Morris, TomContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Patterson, Steven W.Contributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Silberstein, MichaelContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Stewart, W. ChristopherContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Throsrud, HaraldContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Walls, Jerry L.Contributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Weed, Jennifer HartContributeurauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé

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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 feminis.

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