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

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

WILLIAM IRWIN is Associate Professor of Philosophy at King's College, Pennsylvania. He has published several articles on theory of interpretation and aesthetics, as well as four books, including Intentionalist Interpretation: A Philosophical Explanation and Defense (Greenwood, 1999).
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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: 5.4 x 0.6 x 9 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: #285,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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