Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

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David Baggett, Shawn Klein, William Irwin
Open Court Publishing, 2004 - Fiction - 243 pages
9 Reviews
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bostonian71 - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review


Magic and Virtue
The Virtues at Hogwarts
Harrys Recipe for Courage
Harrys Big Step of Faith
The Arguments for SelfDeception
The SelfDeceptions of the Dursleys
The Lessons of Dursley Deceit
A Fourth Lesson
Why SPEW Doesnt Work
Indifference Security and Social Justice
Aristotle and the Sorting Hat
The Virtue of Slytherin House
Ambition as a Virtue
What We Can Learn from Slytherin House
Evil Doesnt Exist
Evil Protects Itself and Grows through Deception

Making Sense of Positive Illusions
An Honest Life
Voldemorts Agents
Crabbe and Goyle
Harry Ron and Hermione
Aristotles Friends
Useful Friends and Pleasant Friends
Friendship in the Fullest Sense
Whats Comin Will Come an Well Meet It When It Does GF p 719
In the Image of Her Creator
Not Just One of the Guys
Strength of Mind and Moral Virtue
Coeducation at Hogwarts
Equal Opportunity Beyond Hogwarts
Are We Truly Happy?
Is Death Really a Good Thing?
So Why Not Take the Money and Run?
Magical Moral Obligations
Some Damned Good Reasons
Magic Science and Harry Potter
Fantasy and Moral Epistemology
Rowlings Ethics of Magic
Back to Reality
The Mirror of Erised
Dumbledores Warning
Descartess Dreams
The Experience Machine
Or Not to Plug In
Beinga Certain Way
Back to the Mirror
Discrimination and Prejudice
What Is Wrong with Prejudice?
Evil Is a Result of Free Choice
Seeing Clearly Acting Bravely
Boethius and the Destructive Effects of Evil
Voldemort and the Destructive Effects of Evil
Voldemort and Moral Education
The Devil Made Harry Do It
Whats Wrong with Harry?
Answering the Moral Charge
Is Hogwarts a Wiccan Academy?
Imagination and Morality
Imagination and Faith
The Oz Stories
The Ship of Theseus
The Narnia Chronicles
Hogwarts and Narnia
Hogwarts and Oz
Hogwarts and Our World
Seeing but Not Noticing
The Harry Potter Universe and Our Own World
Magical and NonMagical Places
Travel by Magical Means
The Tensed versus the Tenseless View of Time
Time Travel in the Harry Potter Universe
What Weve Learned About Harry Potters World
Disembodied Survival and the Nature of Persons
Teletransportation and Personal Identity
The Scientific Challenge to Freedom
The Religious Challenge to Freedom
The Paranormal Challenge to Free Will
Reconciling Freedom and Foreknowledge

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