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Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser Paperback – January 12, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Should the Cheshire Cat's grin make us reconsider the nature of reality?
Can Humpty Dumpty make words mean whatever he says they mean?
Can drugs take us down the rabbit-hole?
Is Alice a feminist icon?
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as a blue caterpillar who smokes a hookah, a cat whose grin remains after its head has faded away, and a White Queen who lives backward and remembers forward? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived—Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche—Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life's ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.
To learn more about the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, visit www.andphilosophy.com
About the Author
WILLIAM IRWIN is a professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 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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Top Customer Reviews
I also highly recommend:
Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland -- without question, the best Wonderland/Looking-Glass book since the original.
The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition -- as its subtitle indicates, this is THE definitive edition of Carroll's original books.
First, years ago when the movie 'The Matrix' came out in 1999 (which if you're trying to get a sense of my sensibilities I think is one of the top 5 sci-fi films of all times), a book came out shortly afterwards entitled 'The Matrix and Philosophy' (The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real (Popular Culture and Philosophy). It was a great book, and gave me a far deeper appreciation of what the Wachowski brothers were up to. The author tied into the clear philosophical messages inserted into the film and expanded upon the themes in a cohesive and relevant way (in spite of the brothers insisting it was just a Kung-fu movie).
As it happens, I am currently in the process of viewing every Alice in Wonderland title available (over 40!) and posting reviews on Amazon of what I learn in the process about how the various manifestations of the Alice story differ from one another. I've formed some opinions of why the Alice story is so compelling and enduring, and now that those thoughts are in my journal I wanted to see what scholars have said about Alice in Wonderland. Because of my positive experience with the Matrix book I picked up this one from the same series.
The first thing I noticed upon glancing at the first page is that there is now a whole 'fill-in-the-blank and Philosophy' series. There's everything from "Metallica and Philosophy" to "Batman and Philosophy". No less than 16 books in the Philosophy series. Uh huh. Someone came up with a great idea....Read more ›
The book consists of a collection of essays by primarily philosophy and literature faculty and grad students from the US, UK, and Canada. As such, you get a variety of styles and looks at Alice, so if you don't like one, you can quickly skip forward and see what comes next. While I love non-fiction, I found one or two of the essays a bit hard going.
But it was worth it to get through them all. I don't think I have ever learned so much about philosophers like David Hume, or John Locke, or Nietzsche, as I did in the essays that dealt with them. Having philosophy placed in the context of a well-known book, even a fairy tale like Alice, helped to make some concepts like "will to ignorance" and "matters of fact" easy to understand.
Readers will be exposed to quite a variety of philosophers as well, in quick bites as the authors move through their takes on the story. All are well written and many have citations you can follow up, if necessary. Some, like Prof. White's essay, are downright funny. My favorites were Prof. White's essay on procrastination ("Jam Yesterday, Jam Tomorrow"), Profs. Dunn and McDonald's on nonsense ("6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast"), and soon-to-be Dr. Shea's look at inductive reasoning ("Three Ways of Getting it Wrong: Induction in Wonderland"). Also enjoyable was Prof.Read more ›
Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy is broken down into four sections, which are then broken down further into essays. Each essay is written by various authors and professors who discuss topics from feminism to philosophy to even drug usage. You may be thinking, what does this have to do with Alice in Wonderland the novel? The truth is a lot. On the surface, Lewis Carroll's classic seems to be just about a young girl who travels down the rabbit hole to discover a new world and a great adventure. But the truth is, as with many novels, the novel is filled with many diverse layers. And it is those layers that Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy discusses.
If you are a die-hard Alice in Wonderland fan, then this is definitely going to be a must read for you. However, those who are looking for an enlightening look at the world of Alice in Wonderland, should definitely give this novel a try. You will not be disappointed.
Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy is very well-written in an academic and intellectual way, but it is never dry. The authors infuse humor and pop culture references through out to keep readers entertained as well as relevant. I had a blast reading this novel, and discovered a new outlook on one of my most beloved tales. Fantastic read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's been a while since I read this book but I can definitely recommend it to anyone who is researching "Alice in Wonderland" or is simply interested in the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Olga
First I want to say that this book is definitely worth buying despite my four star review. If you're an Alice in Wonderland fan, buy this book; the concept is smart and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Michael the Amazing
a wonderful book to read.. the Alice in wonderland and through the looking glass is a great book to read. Read morePublished 13 months ago by M. Lopez
Haven't used the book yet but I skimmed through it & is great boo complaints.Published 16 months ago by Marilyn
Usually love these books. But this one is horrible. Man-hating, femanist, Marxist disgusting book that almost would ruin Alice's story. Would not suggest anyone to read.Published 16 months ago by Christina Hendriks
Bought this as a gift for a friend who loved it. Read it cover to cover in a couple of days.Published 23 months ago by Brooke Byars
An interesting, well edited compendium of philosophical and linguistic analyses of a fascinating "childrens'" book. Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Arnold E. Collins