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02 April 2010

Book Review: Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curious and Curiouser

Title:Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curious and Curiouser
Author: William Irwin and Richard Brian Davis
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: January 12, 2010
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN: 978-0470558362
Genre: Philosophy


About the book

Should the Cheshire Cat's grin make us reconsider the nature of reality?
Can Humpty Dumpty make words mean whatever he says they mean?
Can drugs take us down the rabbit-hole?
Is Alice a feminist icon?
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as a blue caterpillar who smokes a hookah, a cat whose grin remains after its head has faded away, and a White Queen who lives backward and remembers forward? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived -- Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche -- Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life's ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.

This book has not been approved, licensed, or sponsored by an entity or person involved in creating or producing Alice in Wonderland, the novels or films.

My Review:

Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy is a rather enlightening read about lessons that can be learned through the various characters and their actions in the novel Alice In Wonderland. While I had never looked this deeply into the meaning of Lewis Carol's delightful and fanciful tale before now, William Irwin and Richard Brian Davies decided to as a part of their Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. So what can be learned? The book is laid out in four parts totaling fourteen chapters each of which is written by a different author. With depth and precision, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy deconstructs various parts of the story to show the deeper philosophical side and how each can be practically applied to everyday life. My favourite chapter was on logical possibility and tying in Hume's thoughts. Throughout Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy, the reader can look within as well as at the world at large all the while learning about some of the greatest philosophical minds. I found Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy to be a thoroughly engaging read.

About the Author:

Richard Brian Davis is an associate professor of philosophy at Tyndale University College and the coeditor of 24 and Philosophy.

William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 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.

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series:
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and a healthy helping of popular culture clears the cobwebs from Kant. Philosophy has had a public relations problem for a few centuries now. This series aims to change that, showing that philosophy is relevant to your life–and not just for answering the big questions like "To be or not to be?" but for answering the little questions: "To watch or not to watch House?" Thinking deeply about TV, movies, and music doesn't make you a "complete idiot." In fact it might make you a philosopher, someone who believes the unexamined life is not worth living and the unexamined cartoon is not worth watching.

To learn more about the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, visit, and follow the series on Twitter and Facebook.

I received a complimentary copy of Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curious and Curiouser by William Irwin and Richard Brian Davis from FSB Media. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



hip chick said...

It sounds like a pretty interesting read.

samsstuff said...

I've always been fascinated by this series of books. I'll have to check this one out!

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Amy said...

I've heard some good things about this one. I should see if my library has a copy.

Ramya Prasad said...

Stopping from SITS...

Happy Saturday Sharefest.. you can link back here: if you wanna drop by

Diane said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Years ago when teaching an ESL class one of my students analyzed The Walrus and the Carpenter from Through the Looking Glass. I hadn't really read it that closely before but I really found it fascinating and thought it was embedded with all kinds of theories about social reproduction. Definitely going to put this on my "to read" list.

Found you on SITS btw. drop in on my blog sometime:

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from SITS to say hi! Great review!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Ooh - I like the sounds of this.... Thanks Jennifer for the review :)

Gwen said...

Why is it that every review of this one that I read makes me feel like a complete nincompoop?! I read it too and just have the hardest time with philosophy in general. I like your review.