Friday, December 05, 2003

Hey, what hapened?! First long blog I type, and I lose half of it when I try to post it?!
Here it is again...

'As I mentioned in my first blog, I so enjoyed 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy:fear and trembling in Sunnydale' (Edited by James B. South), that I thought I'd try reading up more on philosophy.

I got 'Philosophy for Dummies', by Tom Morris, out of the library - its part of the '..for Dummies' series, if you hadn't guessed. It covers all the big questions - what do we know, what is the meaning of life, is there a god etc - in a way which is reasonably easy to understand and fairly entertaining to read. But the author does seem awfully keen to convince the gentle reader that there is a god. Maybe its just because I'm a literal-minded, pragmatic agnostic with a science background and I just don't want to hear about some divine being.

In contrast to Morris' book, I've so far found the arguments in 'The philosopher at the end of the universe: philosophy explained through science fiction films' by Mark Rowlands much easier to agree with. Perhaps thats really quite appropriate.

Like Morris, Rowlands also makes use of tongue-in-cheek humour to lighten the reading. Of course, Rowlands'

.....Okay I've totally forgotten how that sentence continued.

Rowlands, like Morris, covers the basic Philosophy 101 material - the difference is in his reference to SF movies. I get the feeling hewould have enjoyed the X-Men movies (boo). The book is very readable though and obviously if you can link philosophy with some favourite pop culture element then thats a real plus.

Which brings me back to 'Buffy the vampire slayer and philosphy' - the writers who contributed to this collection of essays have assumed somefoundation knowledge of philosophy, so they're free to explore someless well-trodden paths. Like asking whether Buffy and the Scoobies are fascists....

The latter is still my favourite - I wish all 'serious' academic subjectscould be so fun

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