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Star Wars and Philosophy: More Powerful than You Can Possibly Imagine (Popular Culture and Philosophy Book 12) [Kindle Edition]

Kevin S. Decker , Jason T. Eberl , William Irwin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Star Wars films continue to revolutionize science fiction, creating new standards for cinematographic excellence, and permeating popular culture around the world. The films feature many complex themes ranging from good versus evil and moral development and corruption to religious faith and pragmatism, forgiveness and redemption, and many others.

The essays in this volume tackle the philosophical questions from these blockbuster films including: Was Anakin predestined to fall to the Dark Side? Are the Jedi truly role models of moral virtue? Why would the citizens and protectors of a democratic Republic allow it to descend into a tyrannical empire? Is Yoda a peaceful Zen master or a great warrior, or both? Why is there both a light and a dark side of the Force? Star Wars and Philosophy ponders the depths of these subjects and asks what it truly means to be mindful of the "living force."

Editorial Reviews


...holds implications for all with its solid link between popular culture, philosophy, and social insights. -- The Bookwatch, September 2005

Just the thing to read while queuing for tickets, or perhaps as a source of readings for your theme wedding. -- Book News, Inc., May 2005

Product Details

  • File Size: 498 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812695836
  • Publisher: Open Court (April 1, 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003S3RL2Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,347 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking about the Force April 11, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Popular Culture and Philosophy Series can be hit or miss as it tries to wrap in familiar characters or stories in the teaching of philosophers throughout the ages. This volume stands as one of the best produced so far. The Star Wars films have always held some deeper meanings than what appear on the surface, from the concepts of good and bad, light and dark, interconnectedness in the Force, and downfall and redemption. Decker and his fellow authors mine this rich source and bring up many topics or ideas that will make the reader go "Hmmm." Definitely riding on the wave of growing Star Wars mania, this book contains numerous references to the upcoming Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith film and the dark story that lies in the fall of Anakin. Being that this is a series with it's own resident philosopher in the wise Yoda, the writers have been able to spread out and discussion actions and thoughts of other characters in the Star Wars universe. Surprisingly, and somewhat disappointingly, they mine many of the same characters over again, so that while Anakin and the Emperor are well represented, of course, as are Yoda, Luke and Obi-Wan, characters such as Leia, Padame and Chewbacca get the short shrift. Maybe something for volume 2 perhaps? This is a great book for sitting back and letting you experience the saga at a whole different level. And if you are not as familiar with philosophy, this is a great introduction, relating a deeper subject to something so familiar and beloved. May the Force Be With You.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Force is Strong in This One November 17, 2005
"Star Wars and Philosophy" has it all, and has a bit for everyone. While in some cases it explores a couple of similar themes to the two books from the series about "The Matrix", it also presents some radically new material drawn from Star Wars' unique take on things.

Essays in this book cover everything from environmental philosophy right through to Buddhism, technology and causation. More so than the Matrix books, "Star Wars and Philosophy" truly presents a myriad of philosophical issues to read about. My personal favourites were essays on the personhood and rights of droids, and the truth and lies told by tyhe Jedi and Sith. However, other essays really had a high standard, as well.

In terms of presenting aspects of Star Wars in a new light and giving a deeper appreciation of the movies, "Star Wars and Philosophy" is a great exposition. I have looked at the movies in a new light since reading it, and this is especially so for the more recent prequels to the original trilogy.

Especially for Star Wars fans, but also for anyone who just digs science fiction, this is a great addition to the collection of books. Inspiring and thought provoking certainly describe this one. I loved every essay in it, and was fixated until the end.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Force is Strong with this one November 27, 2005
By Dave Id
A few weeks ago in a book store not to far away, I purchased this book, along with 6 others, simply because it's Star Wars and it's philosophy. It's a perfect mix for a geek like me. So far the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series has 12 volumes and I've assimilated 4 of them. This title being the latest offered as sacrifice to my mind. And the series just never gets boring and its editors and writers aren't lazy (with an exception or two)

Contrary to many philosophy books, they won't bore you with long winded prefaces where they detach themselves from the material to keep their cred as serious philosophers. They take the material seriously, they love, they hate but they never ignore it. And like in other reviews of this series I'll reiterate that this is a book, a perfect book to immerse to non-initiated into the world of philosophy using popular culture as a conduit, thus making philosophy interesting to those who fear it. Most people fear philosophy and declare it boring; for the simple reason that it's perceived as much too cerebral.

It's supposed to be cerebral. Etymologically "philosophy" translates to "love of knowledge". But here you get to do it with the force as your ally. If you dig Star Wars and love philosophy or want to take your first steps into it, this is the book for you. William Irwin, the series' editor, goes for impartiality by choosing writers that may irk him by their one sidedness or stubbornness, not only the writers who praise the subject of his books. Thus you get a great amalgamation of diverse views, positive or negative, on all sides of potential issues stemming from the Star Wars universe... or should I say galaxy?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy and the Force. January 10, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm kind of a weirdo.

My wife and I went on a trip for our anniversary to a Bed and Breakfast in Thomasville, GA. We just stayed in the room and read the whole time. I read this book in about 1 day.

I have to say that I was more than a little surprised at how good a book it was. I've read other books in the Philosophy and Popular Culture series, but was expecting this one to be kind of lame. Star Wars is my favorite movie series of all time, and I find that it's easy for someone commenting on or writing about the series to provoke my ire. (Dorks hate it when other people get their life's obsession wrong.)

I am by no means a great mind. But I do enjoy the notion that Plato put forth that one cannot avoid popular culture, and it is better to teach by popular examples than by those examples that no one will understand. As a result, I say that this series is a good one if you want to get acquainted with philosophy in a "friendlier" setting than a classroom, though the average reader will still have to think more deeply than they usually do.

Which is why this is a good book. It's an introduction to critical thinking about philosophy. It causes you to question the nature of good and evil. (ie..The notion of Lying Jedi and Truthful Sith). And again, all of it is heavier thinking than the average movie watching TV viewer is used to doing, but it's worth it. It can open your eyes to philosophical notions that you hadn't really fathomed before. (ie...There is a wonderful article on Stoicism as represented by Yoda. I had no idea that stoicism was a philosophical movement, I just thought it described a certain quality. And even that was the vaguest of notions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought it for a friend and he has thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 20 days ago by Yolanda Acree
4.0 out of 5 stars philosophizing Star Wars
This is a pretty good collection of essays. It manages to keep a good balance between philosophy and Star Wars. It's pretty accessible, yet doesn't dumb the material down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Enjolras
5.0 out of 5 stars philosopher great this will make you
The "force", The "darkside", right and wrong, justice, revenge, anger, sadness, ...etc. The book covers what the movies do but also life in general. Read more
Published 1 month ago by James Roper
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
As good as the rest of the And Philosophy books.
Published 1 month ago by P. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome Star Wars collectible!!!
Published 5 months ago by JWL
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars
This book will open many doors to understanding history and the philosophy that we base our culture on. Great read.
Published 19 months ago by Earl H. Culp
3.0 out of 5 stars not what I thought I was ordering
no problems with the order, I was looking for a different book not a bad book just not what I meant to order
Published 19 months ago by christopher fritz
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy and fun read.
This book was very enjoyable for me to read. The various authors write distinctly different from each other but with a coherency that kept transitioning from chapter to chapter... Read more
Published 24 months ago by johnny on the spot
5.0 out of 5 stars Star wars and philosophy:
I truly enjoyed this book. I felt it was well thought out and written. I enjoyed all the different Point of views. Read more
Published on February 8, 2013 by michael thorman
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This book not only came in as brand new but it also came earlier that expected, which definitely helped as giving it as a gift to my significant other.
Published on January 23, 2013 by Jenny
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