Thursday, June 20, 2013
A Review of 'The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles' edited by Gregory Bassham
Is death something to be feared... or 'mastered'?
What can Severus Snape teach us about the possibility of redemption?
Is love the most powerful magic of all?
J.K. Rowling's wildly popular Harry Potter books may appear to be simple children's tales on the surface, but like Hogwarts, they conceal all seven books in the Harry Potter series. The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy offers a powerful brew of insights about good and evil, love, death, power, sacrifice, and hope. Is it true, as Dumbledore says, that our choices reveal far more about us than our abilities do? Is there an afterlife, and what might it be like? Here's a Pensieve for your thoughts. So take a healthy slug of Baruffio's Brain Elixir and join Bassham's Army of talented philosophers in exploring the mind-stretching deeper questions of the Potter books and films."
As a long time Harry Potter fan and a recently declared philosophy minor, this was really exciting to find!
This book is a series of philosophical essays about love, death, political ideologies and everything in between, all in respect to Harry Potter. It's really quite fascinating to hear fans of Harry Potter discussing and scrutinizing the books in this way.
There were some things that I agreed with and found absolutely fascinating (there is an essay about the quality of education Hogwarts provides its students. As a future teacher, this was particularly interesting to read about), things I didn't necessarily agree with (one of the essays has what I believe is an invalid argument-- it's about whether Sirius is dominated by his dog instincts or by his human instincts. The author clumps werewolves and animagi together, which wouldn't work, because different magic is involved), and things that I don't have knowledge for, but still managed to find fascinating (is Dumbledore a libertarian?).
If you are a fan of Harry Potter and are looking to get a different perspective on the series, this would definitely be a good non-fiction book to try!
I give 'The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles':