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Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series) Paperback – 18 Sep 2009

2.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (18 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470484233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470484234
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

What can vampires tell us about the meaning of life?

Is Edward a romantic hero or a dangerous stalker?

Is Bella a feminist? Is Stephenie Meyer?

How does Stephenie Meyer′s Mormonism fit into the fantastical world of Twilight?

Is Jacob "better" for Bella than Edward?

The answers to these philosophical questions and more can be found inside Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality. With everything from Taoism to mind reading to the place of God in a world of vampires, this book offers some very tasty philosophy for both the living and the undead to sink their teeth into. Whether you′re on Team Edward or Team Jacob, whether you loved or hated Breaking Dawn, this book is for you!

About the Author

Rebecca Housel coedited X–Men and Philosophy. A former professor of English and popular culture in western New York, she now serves on editorial advisory boards for the Journal of Popular Culture and the Journal of American Culture. Also an author of middle–grade fiction, she is currently working on a new young adult novel.

J. Jeremy Wisnewski is an assistant professor of philosophy at Hartwick College, the coeditor of X–Men and Philosophy, and the editor of Family Guy and Philosophy and The Office and Philosophy.

William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King′s College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles, including Batman and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Watchmen and Philosophy.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ben Saunders VINE VOICE on 10 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Most people, presumably, come to titles like this as fans of the featured popular culture phenomenon (here Twilight) with, at best, a passing interest in philosophy. I should say right up that I'm the other way round. I'm a professional philosopher and I've never read or watched Twilight, though I do have some interest in vampires (as in Stoker's Dracula (Penguin Classics) or Vampire: The Masquerade (World of Darkness)) and have previously written in another 'popular philosophy' title (Soccer and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy)). I thus came to this title with an interest in what philosophy could be discerned from the Twilight franchise.

Unsurprisingly, given that this volume collects essays from many different writers, the results were mixed. The first chapter, by George A. Dunn, wasn't that promising. He uses Edward's appetite for Bella to inform the reader about the Platonic conception of Eros (erotic love). It's informative and, as a philosopher without great knowledge of Plato, I found it interesting, but I don't think it will be of so much appeal to those more interested in Twilight than philosophy - it seems like it just uses Edward and Bella as a pretext to talk about things that have nothing to do with Twilight.

Thankfully, the second chapter - on the ethics of vegetarianism, by Jean Kazez - is a real eye-opener. As vampires, the Cullens - unlike humans - need to feast on animals to stay alive.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was a real eye-opener. So I have read all the Twilight books and even her 'adult' fiction of "The Host". I expected something along the lines of a Buffy book I had read years ago, which was a fairly lighthearted look at the philosophy expressed by various characters. This book is anything but lighthearted!

If you are serious about your philosophy, as in understanding from Greek philosophers onwards, then you will enjoy this book. It gives the chance to view some of the themes in an excellent series of modern literature, but from a fairly serious academic perspective.

I have lent this book to a teenage friend of my son's, who is also a huge Twilight fan, just to see what she makes of it. The only reason for giving this book four stars is that it is not for the fainthearted.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I didn't expect to take this book entirely seriously, but on the other hand I've read a lot of very interesting criticism and analysis of the Twilight series on the internet, with especial focus on the books' take on feminism and free will. Yes, Twilight and its sequels are silly wish-fufillment fantasies (I've read all four, I enjoyed reading them, but if you must have vampires please read Robin McKinley's 'Sunshine' instead, or at least some LJ Smith!), but they're also rather disturbing in many ways, and their wild popularity means that a close analysis of the views Meyer puts forward could be very revealing.

Unfortunately, I found nothing here I couldn't read online for free. The contributors to this volume either focus too closely on irrelevant detail in the books to make their chosen argument work (essays such as 'The Tao of Jacob' spring to mind) or when they do actually deal directly with the more questionable aspects of the books, such as Edward's stalkerish behaviour or the concept of imprinting among the werewolves, do so far too lightly. I appreciated the essays that analysed Bella's character from a feminist perspective, but felt they could have gone into far more depth rather than repeating the same points again and again. And there wasn't nearly enough discussion of the most interesting issue in the books, in my opinion - Bella's choice to become a vampire. Philosophical ideas are often shoehorned in to add credibility to an essay, rather than adding much to the writer's discussion.

I've given this book three stars because I did enjoy browsing through it, but I wouldn't recommend purchasing it - there's just far more interesting commentary out there on the Twilight phenomenon.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really thought this book might be a bit of a joke but I was pleasantly suprised. It's very easy to read and digest and obviously the authors have put a lot of research and effort into this book and indeed it can be taken very seriously. As someone who is fascinated by all facets of vampirelore, Twilight and philosophy, this book seems perfect to deal with any irising issues such as vegetarianism and religion. The book is neatly laid out in parts following the 4 books of the series with each part broken down into chapters including sections such as Immortality And The Meaning Of Life or Edward Cullen And Bella Swan: Byronic And Feminist Heroes... Or Not. I can't see this book appealing to mainstream audiences. It's going to be of avid interest to Twilight fans and those studying/interested in philosophy. There is a lot of contents in reference to philosophers such as Plato and Camus. It is quite lite philosophy but would be more palatable to a younger reader which is obvious as the audience for Twilight is the teen market. There is no point making it any more complicated than it needs to be. I would definitely recommend this book to teens to read after Twilight as it invites thought and provocation beyond the main points raised in the Twilight series of books. It's important for readers to think beyond the page and this book certainly promotes that. Also I think it's a nice "bookshelf" book that will sit happily alongside the Twilight series set and expect guests to pick up and take a quick browse!
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