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Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality

William Irwin (Series Editor), Rebecca Housel (Editor), J. Jeremy Wisnewski (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-48423-4
272 pages
September 2009
Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality  (0470484233) cover image

Description

The first look at the philosophy behind Stephenie Meyer's bestselling Twilight series

Bella and Edward, and their family and friends, have faced countless dangers and philosophical dilemmas in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels. This book is the first to explore them, drawing on the wisdom of philosophical heavyweights to answer essential questions such as: What do the struggles of "vegetarian" vampires who control their biological urge for human blood say about free will? Are vampires morally absolved if they kill only animals and not people? From a feminist perspective, is Edward a romantic hero or is he just a stalker? Is Jacob "better" for Bella than Edward?

As absorbing as the Meyer novels themselves, Twilight and Philosophy:

  • Gives you a new perspective on Twilight characters, storylines, and themes
  • Helps you gain fresh insights into the Twilight novels and movies
  • Features an irresistible combination of vampires, romance, and philosophy

Twilight and Philosophy is a must-have companion for every Twilight fan, whether you're new to the series or have followed it since the beginning.

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Supernatural Humans

We Can’t Live Without xi

Introduction: Undead Wisdom 1

PART ONE TWILIGHT

1 You Look Good Enough to Eat: Love, Madness, and the Food Analogy 7
George A. Dunn

2 Dying to Eat: The Vegetarian Ethics of Twilight 25
Jean Kazez

3 Can a Vampire Be a Person? 39
Nicolas Michaud

4 Carlisle: More Compassionate Than a Speeding Bullet? 49
Andrew Terjesen and Jenny Terjesen

PART TWO NEW MOON

5 Vampire-Dämmerung: What Can Twilight Tell Us about God? 63
Peter S. Fosl and Eli Fosl

6 To Bite or Not to Bite: Twilight, Immortality, and the Meaning of Life 79
Brendan Shea

7 Mind Reading and Morality: The Moral Hazards of Being Edward 93
Eric Silverman

8 Love and Authority among Wolves 107
Sara Worley

PART THREE ECLIPSE

9 Bella Swan and Sarah Palin: All the Old Myths Are Not True 121
Naomi Zack

10 Vampire Love: The Second Sex Negotiates the Twenty-first Century 131
Bonnie Mann

11 Edward Cullen and Bella Swan: Byronic and Feminist Heroes . . . or Not 147
Abigail E. Myers

12 Undead Patriarchy and the Possibility of Love 163
Leah McClimans and J. Jeremy Wisnewski

13 The “Real” Danger: Fact vs. Fiction for the Girl Audience 177
Rebecca Housel

PART FOUR BREAKING DAWN

14 Twilight of an Idol: Our Fatal Attraction to Vampires 193
Jennifer L. McMahon

15 Bella’s Vampire Semiotics 209
Dennis Knepp

16 Space, Time, and Vampire Ontology 219
Philip Puszczalowski

17 For the Strength of Bella? Meyer, Vampires, and Mormonism 227
Marc E. Shaw

18 The Tao of Jacob 237
Rebecca Housel

CONTRIBUTORS: Ladies and Gentlemen, Introducing the Stars of Our Show, Humans, Vampires, and Shape-Shifters Alike 247

INDEX: For Those Who Can’t Read Minds 253

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Author Information

Rebecca Housel coedited X-Men and Philosophy. A former professor of English and popular culture in western New York, she now serves on editorial advisory boards for the Journal of Popular Culture and the Journal of American Culture. Also an author of middle-grade fiction, she is currently working on a new young adult novel.

J. Jeremy Wisnewski is an assistant professor of philosophy at Hartwick College, the coeditor of X-Men and Philosophy, and the editor of Family Guy and Philosophy and The Office and Philosophy.

William Irwin is a 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 Batman and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Watchmen and Philosophy.

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Audio/Video

A look at Twilight and Philosophy from And Philosophy on Vimeo.



Press Release

July 26, 2010
Twilight and Philosophy

You’ve read the books, seen the movies, and perhaps stayed up all night debating the dark moral issues presented in Stephenie Meyer’s world of the undead. Ponder no more.

From Taoism to mind reading to the place of God in a world of vampires, TWILIGHT AND PHILOSOPHY (Wiley; October 2009; $17.95 Paper; ISBN: 978-0-470-48423-4) is the first book to examine the moral and philosophical dilemmas in the bestselling Twilight series. Some of the questions this book explores include:

  • What do the struggles of Edward and his family of "vegetarian" vampires to control their biological urge for human blood say about free will?
  • Are vampires morally absolved if they kill only animals and not people?
  • Why does Plato think that Bella should choose Jacob, a werewolf and rival for her affections?
  • Is Jacob “better” for Bella than Edward?
  • Should Edward use his natural ability to read minds?
  • From a feminist perspective, can Edward be a romantic hero or is he just a stalker?

As absorbing as the Meyer novels themselves, TWILIGHT AND PHILOSOPHY gives readers a new perspective on Twilight characters, storylines, and themes and gives fans a fresh insight into the bestselling novels and blockbuster films.

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