Harry Potter and Philosophy

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » Harry Potter and Philosophy

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Mon 28 Apr, 2008 12:08 pm
Who's a Potter fan? I am!!! I just wanted to know what all of you think about something that I came across. I bought a book online called Harry Potter and Philosophy, If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts. If you have read it then great!!! If not, and your a fan, you should. It compared Dumbledore to Aristotle. I was wondering if you thought that Dumbledore might have been crafted by J.K. Rowling to characterize an Aristotle type?

Have fun with this!!! Especially if your a fan.
 
ltdaleadergt
 
Reply Thu 8 May, 2008 08:48 pm
@philosopherqueen,
I always thought of Dumbledore more of a Socrates than Aristotle! J.K. Rowling did not just make thus books out of thin air but she had a deep understanding of the characters that she have used in her book. Each characters that she have used have a personality of some one that we all know! She was able to put them in a way that no other book was able to do! Her idea was not original at all but was planed to the most perefect way possible! The creatures used in her book are all borrowed from other famous epic stories. Eg the half horse and half bird creature is similar to what the persian call symourgh which is a giant magical bird able to doing exactly what that creature did!
 
Vasska
 
Reply Wed 28 May, 2008 03:31 am
@ltdaleadergt,
I found Dumbledore not much more than the old wise guy and teacher that you have in so many films. Harry Potter proved to be a nice read (I read all of them) and Rowling put down a nice series of books.

Dumbledore was wise, but flawed in many ways as had been explained in book 6 and 7. The idea of saying Dumbledore was based on Aristotle is in my mind nonsense. Could you please give some excerpts from the book that explain their point of view?

The whole idea of Harry Potter was fun, but she *stole* to much from other stories, whether she knew or not. I don't mind that all monsters have been ripped out myths or that some elements are plagiarized but what i do mind is that she denies it. Orson Scott Card (The Enders Saga) has made a great essay on it. You can read it here.

Anyhow, I liked most of the books, and read them last year. But doesn't anyone think that book 7 was to bad. The build up was good and all, but the ending... really? killing Voldemort in 2 pages like he is nothing more than lets say Draco Malfoy and the sudden appearance of all the horcruxes at the end just seemed like the book was hastily finished because the deadline was so close. She really gave the book an ending it did not deserve
 
de budding
 
Reply Wed 28 May, 2008 05:53 am
@philosopherqueen,
I don't know what I make of Harry Potter, at school when I was 14-16 they were all the rage and I stuck to my Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl, I also felt as an avid adventure gamer and Discworld fan that it was terribly unoriginal and as the books kept churning out I felt less and less inclined to pick one up and read. But my little cousin loves it, by the age of 8 he has read them all and now he is a die hard reading fan, (he is on to Goosebumps now and Doctor Who); this can not be bad and J.K is herself a bit of a philanthropist as well.

I don't know enough, but judging by J.K's background and publications there is no philosophy evolved directly, and anything that is claimed is probably a needless extraction to put together a book for some quick bandwagon sales.

I have also lost a lot of respect for the millionaire as she has taken it upon herself to start hating the press and suing similar books, these kind of actions put a negative spin on things considering the press got her off the ground and the Potter sensationalism (let's face it is sensationalism) is all generated by the press, then when they want to run an article on her family she tries to sue (and looses:D).

But I'm not one to let this get in the way of interpretation, how about some quotes and we can see what we can extract.

Dan.

EDIT:
Quote:
Each characters that she have used have a personality of some one that we all know! She was able to put them in a way that no other book was able to do!


From what I gather all she did was right a lot of poor potter stories that she didn't want to publish or that were drafts and wrote a few diaries for the main characters which themselves don't reveal much apart from silly things like one of the characters is gay in J.K's eyes apparently; her character development from what I've browsed (and read to younger kids) is tame and avarage, nothing to shout about.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Wed 28 May, 2008 12:40 pm
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
I don't know what I make of Harry Potter, at school when I was 14-16 they were all the rage and I stuck to my Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl, I also felt as an avid adventure gamer and Discworld fan that it was terribly unoriginal and as the books kept churning out I felt less and less inclined to pick one up and read. But my little cousin loves it, by the age of 8 he has read them all and now he is a die hard reading fan, (he is on to Goosebumps now and Doctor Who); this can not be bad and J.K is herself a bit of a philanthropist as well.


I got called Harry Potter around age 12~13 because I looked like him at that age. That made me no Harry Potter fan. later on i watched the movie on the plane and quite liked it. The books i've read last year, but only because i could get the first 6 books for about 40 dollars brand new and sealed. I picked up reading before that, but Harry Potter was the first time I've read a 800 page book (books nowadays are sometimes even bigger).

Some people who read Harry Potter indeed go on and read other books. In that way Harry Potter is a great way to grow enthusiasm to kids (and adults). Others sadly go not, and stick with the simple Harry Potter literature and leave the really good books behind. HP is fun, but nothing special if you look back at it over 20 years.

Quote:
I don't know enough, but judging by J.K's background and publications there is no philosophy evolved directly, and anything that is claimed is probably a needless extraction to put together a book for some quick bandwagon sales.
It's easy to derive philosophy from every populair TV-series or book series. The do it with every popular program; The Simpons, South park, Sopranos etc. J. Rowing (She doesn't have a K in her name, it's her moms) wrote a book which easily can be identified with philosophy. But so can Patrick Suskinds; Das Parfum (Perfume; The story of a murderer -English title) which on its own is a masterpiece.

Quote:
I have also lost a lot of respect for the millionaire as she has taken it upon herself to start hating the press and suing similar books, these kind of actions put a negative spin on things considering the press got her off the ground and the Potter sensationalism (let's face it is sensationalism) is all generated by the press, then when they want to run an article on her family she tries to sue (and looses:D).
She has about 560 million GBP and should be satisfied. However she is surrounded by people who suck up to her and want her to fight for what is hers. The article from Orson Scott Card i linked to before describes this better.

Quote:
From what I gather all she did was right a lot of poor potter stories that she didn't want to publish or that were drafts and wrote a few diaries for the main characters which themselves don't reveal much apart from silly things like one of the characters is gay in J.K's eyes apparently; her character development from what I've browsed (and read to younger kids) is tame and avarage, nothing to shout about.
Every writer does write bad stories and finally wrote a good book. George Orwell did revision after revision before 1984 was done. He just threw away 40 pages at a time because he was not satisfied with it.

Her character development is not really special in any way, as well the monsters and other things can be traced back to history. I happen to have the great monster hunter book, and every Harry Potter Creature was in it. It's not bad that she did this, for many people do it, and it's not a big deal.

The whole Dumbledore was gay thing made no sense; if Dumbledore was gay she should have put it in the books or just shut up about it.
 
de budding
 
Reply Wed 28 May, 2008 02:49 pm
@Vasska,
560 MILLION! Woooah... from one series?!?! that's nuts!

'Some people who read Harry Potter indeed go on and read other books' I find that to be the best way to justify her earnigs, she got a whole generation to read, lol.

Dan.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Thu 29 May, 2008 05:57 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
560 MILLION! Woooah... from one series?!?! that's nuts!

'Some people who read Harry Potter indeed go on and read other books' I find that to be the best way to justify her earnigs, she got a whole generation to read, lol.

Dan.

560 Million GPB for:

  • 7 books reprinted many many times
  • 7 movies (5 made, 2 pending) all grossing around 200 to 500 million worldwide in cinema sales, not even including DVD-sales.
  • Licensing for Harry Potter merchandise
  • All kinds of advertisement deals

Many people start reading more after Harry Potter, but I'm wondering what level they are reading on in the next few years. HP was pretty low level reading.
 
Calia
 
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2008 03:06 pm
@philosopherqueen,
I am also a Potter fan. As I understand it there are many theories for who/what Rowling based her work - mostly Arthurian. I think Rowling has maintained it was all imagination and not "based" on anything. Which, to any student of the mind, is clearly impossible. So it was sub conscious in basis?

I've seen the book, though I haven't read it. A friend gave me Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy which I also haven't read. But upon your post I shall look into the HP one and pick up and read the BtVS one! It sounds interesting. I found the Dumbledore character to be very endearing to me, though I wouldn't be able to fully outline why. I would be interested in reading the authors take on his character. (A characters 'character' hmmm...)
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 3 Jun, 2008 04:12 pm
@Calia,
Quote:
Many people start reading more after Harry Potter, but I'm wondering what level they are reading on in the next few years. HP was pretty low level reading.


Dr. Seuss is low level reading. For children's books, the Dr. Seuss material was brilliant.

The HP series wasn't supposed to rival Jane Austin's work or anything like that, the HP series is for children. And for a children's book, it isn't bad. Not great, but not bad.

Though the concern you present is valid. If we pick our reading material because Oprah suggests something or because of some other commercial advertisement (Oprah's show is a commercial ad) then we can't hold much hope for the quality of the reading. Media involvement was certainly a big part of the HP hysteria.
 
Vasska
 
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 11:05 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Calia wrote:
I am also a Potter fan. As I understand it there are many theories for who/what Rowling based her work - mostly Arthurian. I think Rowling has maintained it was all imagination and not "based" on anything. Which, to any student of the mind, is clearly impossible. So it was sub conscious in basis?


Writers take ideas from each others, nothing new and nothing wrong about it. But most at least admit they do it. J Rowling does not, and says everything came from her mind. A site that point out many similarities is this Geocities site. If there are so many similarities you either got to admit you borrowed from works of others or be the evil witch that denies everything like Rowling is doing now.

Sure she did think of words herself, she imagined great sceneries and other things, and in that way she is brilliant. But wasting all the positive things she recieved by drowning it with simple denial is just sad.


Quote:
I've seen the book, though I haven't read it. A friend gave me Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy which I also haven't read. But upon your post I shall look into the HP one and pick up and read the BtVS one! It sounds interesting.
Don't get lost in it. There is a difference between a book about a TV series who's only aim is creating ratings, and a mad genius like Nietzsche. When i skipped trough most of the books are fun to read and easy to relate to but have so little value to comparison a classic novel or a real philosophical work.

Quote:
I found the Dumbledore character to be very endearing to me, though I wouldn't be able to fully outline why. I would be interested in reading the authors take on his character. (A characters 'character' hmmm...)
On the wikipedia page of Albus Dumbledore there are some remarks from the writer, and if you look up at google somethings like "J K Rowling Dumbledore Interview" you'd probably hit gold.


Didymos Thomas wrote:
Dr. Seuss is low level reading. For children's books, the Dr. Seuss material was brilliant.

The HP series wasn't supposed to rival Jane Austin's work or anything like that, the HP series is for children. And for a children's book, it isn't bad. Not great, but not bad.


You are making the mistake here that Harry Potter is a children's book.
I can agree that 1 & 2 are childeren books and suitable for kids. The tone darkened starting book 3. Book 6 for example is not one you read to your 4 year old kid. Dr Seuss is and always will stay a children's book. HP started out that way and still is regarded like that but is not any more.

It might have been the huge profits, it might have been her plan all along, who knows. Her books are not bad, but not something people will read even after 50 years.

Quote:
Though the concern you present is valid. If we pick our reading material because Oprah suggests something or because of some other commercial advertisement (Oprah's show is a commercial ad) then we can't hold much hope for the quality of the reading. Media involvement was certainly a big part of the HP hysteria.
The problem I'm stating is that HP is fun to read even for a 50 year old, but should be a de facto standard for writing style. I expect people from that age, or below to have read some more books that have a higher, less childish writing style.

You are right about takinig Oprah for an example. She is nothing more than a living ad commercial - making her have more money than everyone on the forum together - that spews out product after product. I don't know HP has been featured by her, but I know that even I have seen the protests against the sale of the first HP book in America, making it interesting for many people to read because its so controversial, making it a bestseller. Same thing happened with other books, movies and recently games (GTA IV).
 
philosopherqueen
 
Reply Sun 13 Jul, 2008 01:12 pm
@Vasska,
The book can be put down by anyone who wants too. But it has gotten children and even teens to read again. It opened thier mind to the idea of reading. I've always been an avid reader, but not all of my generation is. T.V. took over.

It might not of meant anything philosophical to Rowling, but to some kids that have read it it did. I connected with Harry Potter, for the fact that I lost my parent, and was sent to a place I wasn't to happy to be at (my aunt and uncles). I often wanted someone to take me away so that I could learn magic.

It's a fairy tale that all kids and other alike can agree on.

There are prolly gonna be 8 movies, due to the size of the last book. The GOF was supposed to be 2 but in the end, they decided not to.

It's pretty selfish in my opinion to put down a book that actually got children and others alike to read. I believe that people need to read more deeply, but have you seen high school or even junior high kids try to read Shakespeare? That was only two years ago to me, and I was the only one in my class that could understand it the first time, or without having to find a modern age writing that was more understandable. I hate to even say this but my World Lit class, only like three of us could understand it.

Indept reading is not a big thing in school. English teachers have had to stupidfy the course so kids could pass. Maybe I'm going on about nothing. Maybe this is just where I went to school with.

All I'll say is that you don't have to put people down for reading. At least their reading. Thank you very much!!!!!
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » Harry Potter and Philosophy
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 05/19/2024 at 06:47:25