The Hobbit and Philosophy: For When You've Lost Your Dwarves, Your Wizard, and Your Way

The Hobbit and Philosophy: For When You've Lost Your Dwarves, Your Wizard, and Your Way

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by Gregory Bassham
     
 

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A philosophical exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved classic—just in time for the December 2012 release of Peter Jackson's new film adaptation, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is one of the best-loved fantasy books of all time and the enchanting "prequel" to The Lord of the Rings. With the

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Overview

A philosophical exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved classic—just in time for the December 2012 release of Peter Jackson's new film adaptation, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is one of the best-loved fantasy books of all time and the enchanting "prequel" to The Lord of the Rings. With the help of some of history's great philosophers, this book ponders a host of deep questions raised in this timeless tale, such as: Are adventures simply "nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things" that "make you late for dinner," or are they exciting and potentially life-changing events? What duties do friends have to one another? Should mercy be extended even to those who deserve to die?

  • Gives you new insights into The Hobbit's central characters, including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Gollum, and Thorin and their exploits, from the Shire through Mirkwood to the Lonely Mountain
  • Explores key questions about The Hobbit's story and themes, including: Was the Arkenstone really Bilbo's to give? How should Smaug's treasure have been distributed? Did Thorin leave his "beautiful golden harp" at Bag-End when he headed out into the Wild? (If so, how much could we get for that on eBay?)
  • Draws on the insights of some of the world's deepest thinkers, from Confucius, Plato, and Aristotle to Immanuel Kant, William Blake, and contemporary American philosopher Thomas Nagel

From the happy halls of Elrond's Last Homely House to Gollum's "slimy island of rock," this is a must read for longtime Tolkien fans as well as those discovering Bilbo Baggins and his adventures "there and back again" for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The value in this approach, of course, is that these essays are simple; they are incredibly short (each runs about five pages), and they are clear and accessible.” (Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 1 February 2015)

“Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson’s anthology of essays, 'The Hobbit and Philosophy', may have an overblown title, but the authors do a good job of focusing on themes like possessiveness, providence and free will, courage and decision-making.” (The Times Literary Supplement, 21 December 2012)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470405147
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Series:
Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, #10
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
281,022
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

“Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson’s anthology of essays, 'The Hobbit and Philosophy', may have an overblown title, but the authors do a good job of focusing on themes like possessiveness, providence and free will, courage and decision-making.” (The Times Literary Supplement, 21 December 2012)

Meet the Author

 

Gregory Bassham is Chair of the Philosophy Department at King's College and a professor of philosophy.  He edited The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy and co-edited The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy (Open Court) and The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy.

Eric Bronson is a visiting professor in the Humanities Department at York University in Toronto, Canada. He is the editor of Poker and Philosophy (2012), and co-editor of The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy (2003) and Baseball and Philosophy (2011).

William Irwin is Professor of Philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles including House and Philosophy, Batman and Philosophy, and Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy.

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The Hobbit and Philosophy: For When You've Lost Your Dwarves, Your Wizard, and Your Way 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fans of philosophy and The Hobbit rejoice! A wonderful combination of the two, this books explores moral (and other) questions and situations from the book. It also has references to the LOTR books as well. What I really liked most is that it was written by fans, so they appreciate Tolkien's work. They also explain the philosophical argument they are using, so if you aren't philosophy person, no worries! A really great book, quick read, and I would say it's good for adults, but maybe older teens (if they like this sort of book).