Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts

Synopsis

Academic philosophers apply their field to the popular series of children'sooks and subsequent movies about a boy wizard going to wizard school. Theyover the characters, morality, the dark arts, and metaphysics. Readers arexpected to be intimately familiar with the books. There is no index.nnotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (bookn

Excerpt

Harry Potter is certainly one of the most popular characters in the world. And he’s using that popularity to teach us all some lessons about what’s really needed for a good life. That’s just the sort of wizard he is.

We’re going to examine what may be Harry’s single most striking quality. It’s a personal characteristic much admired by the ancients. And we can learn a great deal about it by looking carefully at some of this young man’s exploits during his first five years at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Magic and Virtue

The most salient feature of the J.K. Rowling novels about Harry Potter may well be their engaging portrayal of a world of magic existing distinct from, yet intermingled with our regular, or Muggle, world. But, however important magic might be to the vivid story-telling of the books, it is merely incidental to their philosophy. Most of us on occasion have heard other people say things like, “I wish I could just magically solve all my problems,” or, “I’ll try my best to deal with this problem, but remember, I’m no magician.”

By looking at Hogwarts and its world, we can see that these common sentiments reflect a misunderstanding. Harry’s daily reality is a world full of magic, and yet the people within it have loads of challenging problems just like folks in our world— . . .

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