The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy edited by Randall E. Auxier and Phil Seng

Filed under:Philosophy — posted by Randolph on June 20, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy edited by Randall E. Auxier and Phil Seng

This series is a lot of fun. It feels light, yet gets into some important philosophical topics, using the stories of The Wizard of Oz as a mechanism to drive the discussion.

The book covers the movie, touching on some of the earlier versions, the original series of books, the books by Gregory Maguire, and a couple of plays. The authors also touch on Rushdie’s analysis of Oz. The focus is on the 1939 movie, the first two or three books of Baum’s series, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

Several philosophers provide short discussions on different topics touched on, intentionally or not, by the different versions of the Wizard of Oz. These include the nature of evil, the value of home and what it means, feminism, morals, slavery, and more. Phillip Seng discusses the relationship between the Pink Floyd soundtrack and its relationship to the movie, and discusses some basic probability with it.

The discussions are very interesting. They are admittedly light, as entire books can be found on most of these subjects, but they provide good food for thought and a solid basis to build on.

The Little Book of Coaching: Motivating People to Be Winners by Ken Blanchard and Don Shula

Filed under:Philosophy,Sports — posted by Randolph on July 29, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One  by Stanley Fish

Ken Blanchard and Don Shula teamed up to create a book on the basics of coaching. I was curious about this book and Don Shula’s contributions, but must say that I did enjoy them. The parallels they draw between football coaching and business are good, the principles presented apply equally to both areas.

The wisdom provided aren’t surprising. This is more of a primer or a book to reinforce good practices than it is a book to provide new insights or ideas. But it is a quick and enjoyable read.

Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between by Thomas Cathcart, Daniel Klein

Filed under:Philosophy — posted by Randolph on December 3, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between by Thomas CathcartThis is the third in a series of humor-focused philosophy books, this dealing with the matter of life and death. The authors use humor to drive points hope, with varying amounts of success. The book feels light, in spite of the weighty philosophical material. It is easy to read and digest, but I do question how much retaining power it has. It is an enjoyable and pretty fast read.

How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read by Pierre Bayard

Filed under:Art,Humor,Philosophy — posted by Randolph on January 26, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard

Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington by Thomas Cathcart

Filed under:Philosophy — posted by Randolph on August 16, 2008 @ 9:45 pm

Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington: Understanding Political Doublespeak Through Philosophy and Jokes by Thomas Cathcart


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace