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The Philosophy of Sherlock Holmes

edited by Philip Tallon and David Baggett

Availablecloth$45.00x 978-0-8131-3671-4
The Philosophy of Popular Culture
214 pages  Pubdate: 09/28/2012  6 x 9  

Arguably the most famous and recognized detective in history, Sherlock Holmes is considered by many to be the first pop icon of the modern age. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective has stood as a unique figure for more than a century with his reliance on logical rigor, his analytic precision, and his disregard of social mores. A true classic, the Sherlock Holmes character continues to entertain twenty-first-century audiences on the page, stage, and screen.

In The Philosophy of Sherlock Holmes, a team of leading scholars use the beloved character as a window into the quandaries of existence, from questions of reality to the search for knowledge. The essays explore the sleuth’s role in revealing some of the world’s most fundamental philosophical issues, discussing subjects such as the nature of deception, the lessons enemies can teach us, Holmes’s own potential for criminality, and the detective’s unique but effective style of inductive reasoning. Emphasizing the philosophical debates raised by generations of devoted fans, this intriguing volume will be of interest to philosophers and Holmes enthusiasts alike.

Philip Tallon, affiliate professor of philosophy and religion at Asbury Theological Seminary, is the author of The Poetics of Evil: Toward an Aesthetic Theodicy.

David Baggett, professor of philosophy at Liberty University, is the editor of Tennis and Philosophy: What the Racket is All About and coauthor of Good God: The Theistic Foundations of Morality.

“This is an engaging collection that plumbs the intellectual, philosophical, and cultural mysteries of Conan Doyle’s most beloved character. It is a work that Holmes himself would have admired.”—Thomas Fahy, editor of The Philosophy of Horror

“The contributors offer insightful and interesting thoughts about the philosophy present in Holmes literature. The contributors unravel some of the mysteries which surround life’s big questions as they take the reader on an intellectual adventure with Holmes, Watson, and classic and contemporary philosophers.”—Michael W. Austin, coeditor of The Olympics and Philosophy

The Philosophy of Sherlock Holmes manages to be both elegantly erudite and consistently entertaining. [The book] would make a fine companion in front of a crackling fire on a rainy night.” -- E. J. Wagner -- author of the Edgar-winning The Science of Sherlock Holmes

"Sherlock Holmes is an intellectual hero for many philosophers: his untangling of seemingly intractable problems by sheer force of reason is an inspiration to professional and amateur thinkers alike. Indeed, understanding how reason has such force is one of philosophy's major goals, as the contributors to this collection ably demonstrate. As one wrangles over the philosophical debates broached in this volume there is much to send one back to those stories with renewed anticipation."--Andrew Aberdein, Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Communication at Florida Institute of Technology