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Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind (Popular Culture & Philosophy) Paperback – October 18, 2011
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"... resembles Conan Doyle's writings in composition, structure, style, form, wit and humor ... to give meanings to 21st century knowledge, life and reality."
-- Ramona Hosu, Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies
"...these writers are serious about Sherlock Holmes [h]owever, don't appear to take themselves too seriously. ... it's easy to tell that the 'game is still afoot' and that it's time to have a little fun."
-- Catherine Ramsdell, PopMatters (December 12, 2011)
About the Author
Professor Josef Steiff is Associate Chair of the Film & Video Department at Columbia College, Chicago. He is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Independent Filmmaking and co-editor of Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy, Anime and Philosophy, and Manga and Philosophy. He lives in Chicago.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of the many topics throughout the book, you get the subtext beneath genre distinctions, the nature of identity, the process of deduction and detection, and even a hefty dose of simulacrum and ennui analysis. There's far too much useful information to write this book off as merely a Sherlock Holmes companion piece. Like all the pop culture & philosophy books, the former is used as a guiding point for the latter, and the latter is what's most important.
It functions as an introduction to the character of Holmes, as well as the philosophical topics at hand. Yet, there's plenty for the seasoned philosopher or Holmes aficionado to sink their teeth into. Recommended for multiple use.
Several of the authors pick their favourite Holmes actor and give supporting evidence, there are chapters on the development of the detective genre, Moriarty, virtual reality, the problem with being bored, and how Holmes adjusted to married life. The book deals with all sorts of Holmesiana: the official Doyle canon, the non-canonical Doyle stories, pastiches, television, theater, and film manifestations (including Star Trek and Japanese), and modern fiction. A lot of ground is covered and many cases are referenced throughout the book. It has a nice index and bibliography at the end.
While perhaps not up to the standard of the Baker Street Journal, some of the essays in this Pop Culture volume (number 61 in the series!) were nevertheless enjoyable. It's all personal preference of course, but favorites were Rafe McGregor (HOUND lit crit), Ruth Tallman (a surprisingly persuasive study in friendship), Andrew Terjesen, and Kevin Kilroy. Many entries were not enjoyable, either due to poor writing, poor editing, or frequently, a combination of too much philosophy and too little Sherlock Homes.
Still, this keeps the master's memory green, as long as you don't mind quantity over quality, and the frankly shocking cover art: RDJ as Jewish gangster?
[The reviewer was provided with a complimentary copy of the book.]