I was recently made aware of a series of books from Open Court Publishing called Popular Culture & Philosophy. I found out about the series from Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit; I won a giveaway for Star Wars & Philosophy, which my boyfriend is already enjoying. They have a massive back list and I wanted to share a few with you that might be interesting to this reading community.
- The Lord of the Rings & Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All
- Harry Potter & Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts
- The Chronicles of Narnia & Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview
- The Wizard of Oz & Philosophy: Wicked Wisdom of the West
- The Golden Compass & Philosophy: God Bites the Dust
- Boardwalk Empire & Philosophy (coming in 2012)
Now I know when I first saw these books were about philosophy I cringed because I was never good at understanding those Aristotelian concepts, but from what I have read and heard thus far from my boyfriend, these are written more for the everyday reader. To take a snippet from the publishers website:
Since its inception in 2000, Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy® series has brought high-quality philosophy to general readers. The volumes present essays by academic philosophers exploring the meanings, concepts, and puzzles within television shows, movies, music and other icons of popular culture.
The books sound funny as well as enlightening. For a more detailed idea as to the individual books, here is the cover blurb from The Chronicles of Narnia & Philosophy:
Here twenty-four philosophers and Narnia fans relate some of the things they have witnessed in the weird world of Narnia and the even weirder world of philosophy. Philosophy, it turns out, can be as addictive as the White Witch’s turkish delight, though hopefully not always so frustrating.
Under what conditions should we believe a story that runs counter to all our experience? Does might make right or are there objective moral rules? Would Albert Einstein have made any sense of the claim that time can flow at different rates in different worlds? If a boy is turned into a dragon, is the dragon still the same person as the boy? Can salvation be found in many religions or only in one? Do animals—even the ones that don’t talk—have souls?
These puzzles and more are bravely attacked in The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy.
I’m looking forward to the Chronicles of Narnia and Wizard of Oz ones, as well as a few others that are movie or tv show related. I encourage you to check these out and expand your horizons. And if you have already read any of these, please leave some feedback!
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