25 August 2007

harry potter and philosophy

I'm putting together a proposal to teach a course in the spring on "Philosophy and Harry Potter." The course will cover a number of pretty traditional philosophical topics: the virtues, evil, identity, the soul, free will, and so forth. I've already purchased (and plan to use) Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts edited by David Baggett and Shawn Klein.

I've asked around and received a number of other suggestions to look into (thanks Travis and Dave!), including some of John Granger's materials and several academic articles. Has anyone read and have an opinion about Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter edited by Elizabeth E. Heilman? I may also use Peter van Inwagen's essay on the ontology of fictional creations, an essay on literature as moral philosophy, and perhaps something on the theological dimensions of the books.

Do any of you have further suggestions? In particular I'm looking for articles or chapters, rather than book-length treatments.