Nicholas Joll (philosopher)

*Philosophy and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy* [book]

     The Hitchhiker books (/radio series/television series/et cetera) by Douglas Adams are philosophical. (If you need proof, please see here.) Indeed, they are so very philosophical that something like the book pictured below needed to exist – and now it does.

Philosophy  Science fiction  Literature  Humour  Satire

Reviews

  • ‘[P]erhaps one of the best’ of the ‘and Philosophy” books’; ‘a single table in a single chapter of this book will keep you thinking and discussing for many hours’ – Philosophy Now, Sept./Oct. 2014.
  • ‘[A]n entertaining introduction to some philosophical issues’; ‘each of the essays included in the book—whether about the meaning of life and immortality, vegetarianism, or even the proper role of representations of violence in popular culture—is about an issue that is genuinely present in the series’ – The Philosophical Quarterly (first published online September 17, 2014; forthcoming in print).

News

The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Jem Roberts, is just out! (I haven’t read it yet, though.)

‘Oh No, Not Again’: I feature along with various interesting people in this podcast on ‘the work, ideas and philosophical jokes of Douglas Adams’.

My essay ‘The Finest and the Third Worst: Aesthetics and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ has been published on the fine blog interestingliterature.com. (If you are using the Chrome browser, the text on that blog may not look good. If so, you could use another browser to view the material. I can report that in Internet Explorer it looks well.)

Julian Baggini on the World Service’s Newshour programme (via BBC Listen Again) on Hitchhiker’s and how it is philosophical. That material starts 47 minutes through.

The slides from my Hitchhiker’s Towel Day talk (at Cambridge Central Library, May 25th 2013).

Radio interview from 12/09/2012: I discuss Philosophy and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with Sean Moncrieff (a philosophy graduate!) on Newstalk Ireland.

Buy the book (in handsome paperback or rather nice e-book), from:

  • the publisher, Palgrave Macmillan, either in the UK or North America or Australasia. [EDIT: still has stock!]
  • W. H. Smith’s (UK; price varies depending, seemingly, on stock – the lowest price is £9.79). Note also that Palgrave provides the electronic form of the book in two formats –’EPUB’ and PDF.
  • various independent U.K. bookshops (via ‘Hive’, a tool for shopping locally online [EDIT: and cheap, at least in my area - and a good way to go if the other suppliers have sold out]; there’s also this list of tax-paying alternatives to Amazon)
  • the UK’s Guardian newspaper (book priced at £11.19) [EDIT: still has stock!]
  • Amazon.co.uk [link removed now that I am more aware of Amazon's treatment of employees]
  • Amazon.com [link removed now that I am more aware of Amazon's treatment of employees]
  • or from one of the other Amazon sites such as Amazon.caand Amazon.de [as above]
  • or (e-book only) Google Play

Excerpts (try before you buy!)

  1. the book’s front matter (PDF file, but only from the final draft rather than from the final file of the book) including the preface and the contents pages (the latter being separately available as a JPG picture from the final file) ©
  2. part of the Introduction (PDF from the final file) [link fixed] ©
  3. the book’s index of ‘philosophers, sages, luminaries, and other thinking persons’ (draft, displayed on a webpage) ©; and here is a list of contributors to the book
  4. a larger image of the cover (in a PDF). ©

ILLUSTRATION: The start of Adams's *Restaurant at the End of the Universe* (image hosted by imgur.com)ILLUSTRATION: Getting philosophy out of academe

Written by Nicholas Joll

July 23, 2012 at 3:01 PM

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