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Lost and Philosophy: The Island Has Its Reasons [Paperback]

Sharon Kaye
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


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Ultimate Lost and Philosophy: Think Together, Die Alone Ultimate Lost and Philosophy: Think Together, Die Alone 4.0 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

November 27, 2007
Sometimes it feels like you need a Ph.D. to follow the show. But you don't. You just need this book in which twenty-one philosophers explore the deep questions we all face as survivors on this planet: Does "everything happen for a reason"? Is torture ever justified? Who are the Others? How do we know we're not patients in Hurley's psych ward? What if the Dharma Intitiative is experimenting on us? Desmond may not be able to save Charlie, but this book could save you. * A provocative study of the hit television show, Lost, currently in its third season and set to reach its climax in 2010 * Highlights the sense in which Lost is a genuinely philosophical show * Helps fans understand and navigate some of Lost's deeper meanings * Connects episodes and events in the show to core philosophical issues such as truth, identity, and morality * Shows that it's no accident that there are Lost characters names Locke, Rousseau, and Hume

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Editor Sharon Kaye and a team of authors have penned a thinking person’s guide to exploring the philosophical territories mined in the hit television series “Lost.” A book for those who know television doesn’t have to be a wasteland of throw-away ideas; “Lost and Philosophy” takes you deep into the island’s philosophical jungle."
-Tory Brecht, The Dispatch/Argus

"Imagine a setting on your television for 'Philosophical Analysis', right next to 'Subtitles'. Lost and Philosophy is such a setting, one that works from inside your own head. Life, let alone television, will never be the same again. Switch it on."
-Dr. Deborah Brown, The University of Queensland

“Let's face it: We're all lost in the cosmos, dropped at birth into the ongoing mysteries of our remote planetary island where each of us is challenged to make the best of this odd situation we share with our companions. Lost and Philosophy shows how one remarkable television series illuminates the human condition and poses some of the deepest questions we all need to answer. Reading this excellent book will help you peel back the layers of the show, and your life.”

-Tom Morris, Bestselling author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors,
If Harry Potter Ran General Electric, and Philosophy for Dummies

"The concepts are well-defined and presented…You don't have to be a philosophy major to understand…takes the experience of the show and makes it 'one louder.'"
TLChicken.com

"Questions about life, love and destiny...That’s the focus of 21 thought-provoking yet reader-friendly essays that explore the many references to philosophy in the popular series."
Wave Magazine

From the Back Cover

When Flight 815 crashes on a remote tropical island, it gets stuck in a philosophical quagmire. Survivors band together to guard against surreal dangers, but who will guard the guardians? Thrust into the state of nature, our scantily clad and well-tanned heros learn that they were lost long before the crash. Watching them wrestle their demons, you may realize you're lost too. Locke, Rousseau, Hume. Who are these people?

Sometimes it feels like you need a Ph.D. to follow the show. But you don't. You just need this book in which twenty-one philosophers explore the deep questions we all face as survivors on this planet: Does "everything happen for a reason"? Is torture ever justified? Who are the Others? How do we know we're not patients in Hurley's psych ward? What if the Dharma Intitiative is experimenting on us? Desmond may not be able to save Charlie, but this book could save you.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405163151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405163156
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #538,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
(12)
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff! December 17, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've ever suspected that LOST had something to do w/ philosophy but never knew quite how to put it into words, this book is for you. This book has different essays on many of the various themes of the TV show: good vs. evil; fate vs. free will; faith vs. reason; etc. It takes the viewer all the way through Season 3, so if you haven't seen the whole season's worth of episodes, prepare yourself for some spoilers. But, if you're looking for a discussion on Locke's and Jack's differing approaches to how they deal w/ their fathers (just one example of an essay), check out this book.

I'm currently using some of the articles in here in a philosophy class and using select episodes to illustrate the Big Questions that we're all trying to answer.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a good read.

The book is a collection of twenty-one essays. Some of them are very good, some of them are good. But all of them are challenging and exciting. I have my personal favorites: "Should We Condemn Michael for Saving Walt?", "The Island as a Test of Free-Will", "Lost's State of Nature", "Lost Theories and Coincidence"... But I suppose every Lost viewer will find several papers to like in this collection.

You do not need an academic training of any sort to enjoy this reading. But it true that if you enjoy reading argumentative texts, this habit will come handy and will be rewarded.

If you're a Lost fan, this book will give you a good excuse to watch again some old episodes (while you're awaiting the new season...) and the topics discussed here will enhance this viewing.

If you're more of a philosophical mind, you will find very good ways to expose, in very clear terms, basic philosophical questions.

It is one of the best books in the series "Philosophy and Popculture".
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES for the average LOST fan January 23, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I couldn't help but want to respond to all the low-rated side reviews I saw for this book with titles such as "Not for the average LOST fan" or "For Philosophy Majors only." Yes it IS for the average LOST fan, and NO it ISN'T for philosophy majors only. One guy said even the most fervent LOST fan wouldn't be able to follow the ideas of this book. All I have to say is YOU CAN DO it!

It DOES take some thought and it isn't something I would hand to my elementary school children, but are you smarter than a fifth grader?

Have you HONESTLY been watching LOST since season one and NOT thought about the themes of the show after you've turned off the TV? Have you honestly not pondered what you would do if you were Michael? Have you honestly not noticed how sometimes Locke seems to be the castaway's tribal medicine man, as much as he talks about destiny and what is SUPPOSED to happen (and then that smokehouse episode where he lost his voice and rescued Eko from the polar bear) and then followed that thought with "Jack is a doctor, the real medicine man. Hmmmm - no wonder they don't really get along." REALLY?

Well, if you have, and you like to read, then I really think you would like this book. Chances are pretty good that all the essays are something you've thought about after watching the show anyway.

But if you are still unsure, go to EW.com, Entertainment Weekly's web site, and go to their LOST page. Click "Doc Jensen's Analysis" tab and read (or search for) Season Three's "I'm Going to Hell for this" column and if that was too much for you to comprehend (or interest you), then this book is NOT for you, and that is a shame because this book could really enhance the show's viewing for its "fervent" fans. Fervent fans being those who have seen every episode. And really, are there any who haven't?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be Philosophy and LOST February 5, 2009
Format:Paperback
The structure of many of the essays in this book are such that they talk about philosophy and use LOST as examples or instances of the ideas. Think about this book as an introduction to philosophy by way of LOST. Its actually really cool.

I'm a philosophy student, so many of the themes were familiar to me. I can't really say how one with no prior exposure to philosophy might fare, but my gut tells me that if you have the mental capacity to follow LOST, you'll be able to sift through this book. For those with experience in philosophy, the readings are actually pretty light and summarize/apply classic thinkers to scenarios rather than advancing any new arguments.

Also, I should say that the book stops at Season Three. Anything after "Through The Looking Glass" isn't covered.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best / Worst Chapters... September 4, 2009
By Jubu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The consensus of Amazon customer reviews strikes me as quite accurate: a fine and thoughtful book for both fans and curious intelligent general readers. Twenty-one essays, generally a worthwhile experience, but there were some standouts...

Five chapters that the editors should be really proud of - great stuff:

The Island of Ethical Subjectivism: Not the Paradise of Lost, by George Wrisley

Meaning and Freedom on the Island, by Sander Lee

No Exit...from the Island: A Sartrean Analysis of Lost, by Sandra Bonetto

Lost's State of Nature, by Richard Davies

Lost and the Problem of Life after Birth, by Jeremy Barris

Five chapters that the editors might not be so proud of - questionable inclusions:

Should We Condemn Michael for Saving Walt? by Rebecca Vartabedian

Lost, The Third Policeman, and Guerilla Ontology, by Jessica Engelking

Lost in Codes: Interpretation and Deconstruction in Lost's Narrative, by Tom Grimwood

The Tao of John Locke, by Shai Biderman and William Devlin

Everything Happens for a Reason, by David Werther

The other 11 chapters are all solid and interesting, though somewhat lacking in the combination of analysis, insight, and sparkle of the recommended ones above. Cheers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst in the series
This series of pop culture and philosophy books has spanned many franchises now, and I own the ones on Star Wars, The Matrix (both books), and Final Fantasy, and have read parts of... Read more
Published on August 11, 2010 by SocraticMethod
4.0 out of 5 stars Was this the right time?
Somehow, I became infected with the LOST meme. If you are a fan of the show, I am sure you understand what I mean. If you are not a fan of the show, I will warn you to stay away. Read more
Published on August 9, 2009 by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
I love this show, its the best on TV. I've also found this book to be very good also. Now I'm going back and watching all the seasons over to find secrets and clues that I may have... Read more
Published on November 8, 2008 by Katherine Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for the average Lost Fan
This book is not for the average Lost Fan. It is more geared to the philosophy major. It goes into to much depth about was this one right or wrong about their decision and why... Read more
Published on August 4, 2008 by Cheryl Modzel
2.0 out of 5 stars For Philosophy Students Only 2
This really goes too deep even for the most fervent LOST fan.

More for a Philosophy than a fan of the show.
Published on March 16, 2008 by Capt. McPl0x
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
This book was given to me as a gift and although I have never watched one episode of 'Lost', I loved this book! Read more
Published on January 5, 2008 by Cassandra
2.0 out of 5 stars For Philosophy Students Only
I'm well educated and have studied philosophy superficially, but this was over my head. This is not a book even an avid Lost fan would be drawn into. Read more
Published on December 17, 2007 by YEPeterson
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