Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

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Open Court, Oct 1, 2004 - Philosophy - 250 pages
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


George A Reisch
Title Page
The Courageous Harry Potter
The Morality and Psychology of SelfDeception
Hermione and the Women
Heaven Hell and Harry Potter
Magic Science and the Ethics of Technology
Why We Should Heed Dumbledores
Is Ambition a Virtue? Why Slytherin Belongs at Hogwarts
The Nature of Evil
Voldemort Boethius and the Destructive Effects of Evil
Magic Muggles and Moral Imagination
The Idea of a Different Reality
Space Time and Magic
What Wizards
Hogwarts Emeritus Faculty

S P E W as a Parable on Discrimination

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About the author (2004)

David Baggett is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He has published many scholarly articles on ethics and philosophy of religion.

Shawn Klein is Faculty Associate in Philosophy at Arizona State University.

Tom Morris, who contributes a chapter on "If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts,” is a nationally known inspirational and business speaker, and best-selling author of True Success, If Aristotle Ran General Motors, and Philosophy for Dummies.

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