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The Ultimate Star Wars and Philosophy: You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned

In a philosophy-themed book series pandering to a general audience and including pop cultural phenomena ranging from Harry Potter and Twilight to House and Game of Thrones (all relatively recent bestsellers, blockbusters, and hit TV series), Star Wars takes an honorary place, with its die-hard fan base spanning generations.

In a philosophy-themed book series pandering to a general audience and including pop cultural phenomena ranging from Harry Potter and Twilight to House and Game of Thrones (all relatively recent bestsellers, blockbusters, and hit TV series), Star Wars takes an honorary place, with its die-hard fan base spanning generations. Analogous to the seven episodes of the saga released by the time of its publishing, the book has seven parts, each containing three to five chapters which are grouped conceptually (morals, metaphysics, the non-human, etc.). This edition is a miscellaneous assortment with an interdisciplinary perspective, covering a kaleidoscopic range of topics, with no discernible common thread (even though the leitmotif of Platonism recurs in several articles). Some chapters have only tangential relation to the storyline and the characters, instead dealing with the minutiae of Star Wars merchandise; for instance, in “The Mind of Blue Snaggletooth,” Dennis Knepp takes the reader down the rabbit hole of the three levels of understanding (namely, the physical, design, and intentional stance) as developed by the American philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett, rather bizarrely demonstrated on a Blue Snaggletooth action figure. Many of the articles are in dialogue with each other (cross-referencing each other), and quite expectedly, not all of them are of equal quality in terms of originality, coherence, and philosophical insight –many contributors take recourse to, and heavily rely on the original Star Wars and Philosophy book, and some only marginally touch upon philosophical topics, whereas others offer comparatively much more substance and genuinely compelling ideas; I will focus on the latter, or to be more specific: on three high points of the volume –in numerical order.

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