The Hobbit and Philosophy: For When You've Lost Your Dwarves, Your Wizard, and Your Way

The Hobbit and Philosophy: For When You've Lost Your Dwarves, Your Wizard, and Your Way

Gregory Bassham, Eric Bronson

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0470405147

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Hobbit and Philosophy: For When You've Lost Your Dwarves, Your Wizard, and Your Way

Gregory Bassham, Eric Bronson

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0470405147

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A philosophical exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved classic—just in time for the December 2012 release of Peter Jackson's new film adaptation, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is one of the best-loved fantasy books of all time and the enchanting "prequel" to The Lord of the Rings. With the help of some of history's great philosophers, this book ponders a host of deep questions raised in this timeless tale, such as: Are adventures simply "nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things" that "make you late for dinner," or are they exciting and potentially life-changing events? What duties do friends have to one another? Should mercy be extended even to those who deserve to die?

  • Gives you new insights into The Hobbit's central characters, including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Gollum, and Thorin and their exploits, from the Shire through Mirkwood to the Lonely Mountain
  • Explores key questions about The Hobbit's story and themes, including: Was the Arkenstone really Bilbo's to give? How should Smaug's treasure have been distributed? Did Thorin leave his "beautiful golden harp" at Bag-End when he headed out into the Wild? (If so, how much could we get for that on eBay?)
  • Draws on the insights of some of the world's deepest thinkers, from Confucius, Plato, and Aristotle to Immanuel Kant, William Blake, and contemporary American philosopher Thomas Nagel

From the happy halls of Elrond's Last Homely House to Gollum's "slimy island of rock," this is a must read for longtime Tolkien fans as well as those discovering Bilbo Baggins and his adventures "there and back again" for the first time.

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and learn about a traditional breakfast in southern India, Singapore, or Argentina. How can I decide what to eat for breakfast? It’s impossible to imagine a hobbit missing breakfast while fretting about the variety of equally good things to eat. And it seems that Tolkien himself celebrates the rustic and tradition-bound ways of hobbits. He never mocks them as ignorant provincials. Hobbits are rightfully happy in their small lives. They confidently cook meals, brew beer, and build holes in the

be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways. . . . The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. . . . How many a poor immortal soul have I met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it a barn seventy-five feet by forty, its Augean stables never cleansed, and one hundred acres of land, tillage, mowing, pasture and wood lot! . . . Who made them serfs of the soil? . . . It is a fool’s life, as they will find when they come to the end of

One day the local paper reports that a mountain lion has been spotted in a nearby residential area, preying on small pets that have been left outside overnight. Lots of emotions would likely be aroused by reading the story: fear of the dangerous animal on the loose, pity for the families who lost their Chihuahuas or kittens, and anxiety about our own dear Fluffy outside in the yard. But now suppose that the next day the paper reports that all the mountain lion sightings have proved false and that

these to assess how well Bilbo reasons in the midst of a variety of uncertain outcomes. Then we’ll see how the results can be judged according to Aristotle’s view of courage. Maybe other hobbits are right that he’s foolish; maybe not. And perhaps you’ll pick up some decision-making tools to pack on your next adventure. Riddles, Dilemmas, and Luck, Oh My! To see why reasoning in the midst of uncertainty is so difficult, consider the case of riddles. When Bilbo stumbles into Gollum’s lair,

defined as play study of Pinnock, Clark Pippin Pitino, Rick Plato The Apology on greed on philosophy as play The Republic Symposium “The Allegory of the Cave” play beauty and defined education as ethics and goodness of importance of limits of “subcreation” process Plutarch Pocket Catholic Dictionary (Hardon) Pope, Alexander possessiveness enlightenment and glory and happiness and personal cost greed social cost of greed Taoism and See also Ring prisoner’s dilemma

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