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Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts (Popular Culture & Philosophy) Paperback – 10 Sep 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court Publishing Co ,U.S. (10 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812694554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812694550
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 13.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Julie Telford on 11 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my library, thinking it would be an excellent way to introduce teenagers to philosophy, and I am sure it will be lifted from the shelf many times. Unfortunately, I am also sure it will nearly always be put back there very quickly. While not exactly turgid, it is too heavy-going for the average Harry Potter reader, and is probably most suitable for university students of philosophy.

I found it a fairly interesting read, myself, although the arguments often seemed flawed to me, and as I struggled to follow them I found the references to Harry Potter irritating. It made me wonder whether the HP element was just a sales ploy.

If the authors genuinely wanted to get the typical Harry Potter fan interested in philosophy, I feel they could have tried harder. For each essay, they could first have related in detail a particular issue or dilemma in one of the stories, and then explained, in easy language, how it is interesting philosophically. I feel a great opportunity has been missed.

I have read much better introductions to philosophy, i.e. ones that present the arguments clearly and simply and methodically, and hold the reader's attention.

These essays varied in readability and quality, but one stood out. Kreacher's Lament, about discrimination and indifference, is well worth reading and should be life-changing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A new interest in philosophy 14 May 2005
By Chulis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I loved this book!! It taught me so much about philosophy. I learned about what Aristotle says about friendship, about the relationship between good and evil, how I can build courage, how science in our world parallels magic in Harry's, why ambition can be good, reasons why criticisms of the Potter books are so often misguided, and so much more! I've loved Harry Potter for a long time, and could tell the authors did too, but I never realized how so many interesting points can be raised by the books. I especially enjoyed the essays dealing with space, time, different realities, and free will and foreknowledge. This book made me laugh and it made me excited about philosophy by making so many issues understandable with examples from the Harry Potter books. I highly recommend it, what great fun!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Interesting perspective 19 Aug. 2006
By B. Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book not expecting any great new philosophies or insights into old ones. I was pleasantly surprised. As a person that has read many of the older philosophical texts, I know how hard it is to sometimes understand the reasonings and logic presented. I think this book presents its ideas in a very clear way that even the youngest audiences of Harry Potter would be able to have a good introduction to philosophical thought.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A Good Excuse to Enjoy Harry Potter as an Adult 4 Jun. 2007
By Angela Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I very much enjoyed reading "Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts". As one who reads the Potter books mostly for the escapism, it was interesting to have the help of professional philosophers help me delve into the deeper meanings contained in the books. This book also helped me to appreciate JKR's talent even more. I believe she must have more than a cursery knowledge of philosophy herself. My favorite essays were "Feminism and Equal Opportunity:Herminone and the Women of Hogwarts", "Heaven, Hell and Harry Potter" "Magic,Muggles and Moral Imagination" and "The Prophecy-Driven Life: Foreknowledge and Freedom at Hogwarts" All of the essays had at least one "ah HA" moment where the brain went into high gear and really started purring. The essay "Space, Time and Magic" caused the usual brain cramp that all time travel conundrums do and I enjoyed it as much as I always enjoy such discussions with the addition that new concepts were introduced of which I had previously been unaware. I was not aquainted with the terms "tensed" and "tenseless" time. This book is probably not for the expert philosopher as these concepts will be basics but for someone of my experience (almost none) studying philosophy,it was a great read. Just like a good movie, don't leave before the credits are done; the bios at the end are amusing.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining enlightenment 12 Jan. 2006
By Priscilla Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a Harry Potter fan, I pick up almost anything with Harry in the title. Often, I put it back down after a cursory glance. Not this time!

This book is a collection of essays on philosophical questions raised in the Harry Potter series. It would be a good adjunct for anyone taking a college level philosophy course, to see a practical application of using philosophy to aid in understanding literature - or the use of literature to understand philosophy!
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Painless Way to Learn Philosophy 15 Jan. 2005
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This series of books, popular culture and philosophy is fantastic. It seems that any popular movie, or TV series immediately generates a backlash. Two recent examples include the Harry Potter books and movies, and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. In the case of Harry Potter, fundamentalist Christians have lamented that the books are teaching witchcraft. In Passion, the movie is being charged as being anti-Semite.

In this series of books, prominent philosophers are being asked to comment on these charges and on the story contained in the movie. In contrast to the shrill, loud, emotionally loaded comments being made primarily to get attention to the commenter, here are thoughtful, reasoned essays that challenge the reader to think about and decide for himself about these charges.

These books make for absolutely delightful reading. It is a way to bring philosophy to the public in connection with a story that is familiar to a broad range of people.
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