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Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts Paperback – September 10, 2004

38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Series: Popular Culture and Philosophy (Book 9)
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court; First Edition edition (September 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812694554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812694550
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a philosopher specializing in ethics, popular culture, and the philosophy of sport. I co-edited Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts (2004). I blog at Philosophyblog.com and SportsEthicist.com. I also edit the book series _Studies in the Philosophy of Sport_ from Lexington Books. I am a philosophy instructor at Arizona State University.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Chulis on May 14, 2005
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!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Morris on August 19, 2006
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.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Angela Allen on June 4, 2007
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Priscilla Herrington on January 11, 2006
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!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on January 15, 2005
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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
Harry Potter's put the spell on millions of readers, and many have debated the 'deeper meaning' of the stories. In Harry Potter And Philosophy, seventeen philosophical experts unlock some of Hogwart's secrets, revealing connections between the particular characters and how they link to modern philosophy. There's more than a healthy dose of humor, such in an analysis of how Aristotle would've run a school for wizard. Harry Potter And Philosophy is "must" reading for dedicated fans of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels and films presenting Harry Potter's detailed and complicated world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David D. Prentiss on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
To begin with, the subtitle should read:

If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts he wouldn't change a thing.

These Philosophers praise J.K. Rowlings for her character development of both the good and bad people in the books. They recognise, describe and praise her treatment of them and find her ideas mirrored in other philosphers. It's a fun read most of the time but to me the praise of that most uncommon of all qualities 'Common Sense' found in Rowlings was a pleasure.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Sugar on February 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
As soon as I saw this book I had to get it. Having been impressed with other books in this series (The Simpsons, The Matrix and Seinfeld) I knew this would be a great way to apply the things I learned in Philosophy to today's culture. If you're a student of Philosophy, like me, then this book may help you to clear up things that your professor can not. Since they take things like Time-travel and apply them to the Harry Potter world, you can grasp a better understanding while not losing the essence of what is being discussed. Even if you're not a student of philosophy this book is a great read. It'll provide hours of entertainment and give you great insight into how Philosophy can be applied to situations.
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