As I was browsing through Borders on Saturday I ran across a book called Star Wars And Philosophy: More Powerful Than You Can Possibly Imagine. This book attempts to explain philosophy using the Star Wars movies as a metaphor.
I used to read a lot on philosophy – mostly Zen and Taoism. At one point in time, Kelsi bought me a book called The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer which I really enjoyed. I have also read The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet, which attempts to explain eastern philosophy through the Winnie the Pooh characters.
From the titles, one would think that I am just a moron that cannot relate to deep thoughts unless it is illustrated by some childhood cartoon character. However, these books are not for 6 year olds. They really go into quite a bit of depth, while making the concepts more accessible by relating them to characters and situations that are known by everyone. They take what usually is extremely dry reading and make it accessible.
This latest book is extremely interesting, with essays ranging from the discussion as to whether Yoda is a Zen Master or a great warrior, to a discussion over whether cloning is morally wrong, to the discussion of free will vs. predestination.
A sampling of the chapters include:
- “You Cannot Escape Your Destiny” (Or Can You?): Freedom and Predestination in the Skywalker Family
- Stoicism – Yoda, the Emperor, and the Force
- Moral Abiguity in a Black and White Universe
- The Far East of Star Wars
- The Aspring Jedi’s Handbook of Virtue
- Star Wars and the Problem of Evil
- Send in the Clones: The Ethics of Future Wars
- Star Wars and the Hegelian Struggle for Recognition
- By Any Means Necessary: Tyranny, Democracy, Republic, and Empire
This book is a pretty interesting read. The book also makes you realize just how much thought went into the stories as you see the characters and concepts such as “The Force” related to eastern philosophy and ideas. If you see it at the store (or Amazon) and have a couple of days to kill, pick it up.