Philosophy and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    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.

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  • ‘[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. (Note: in order to read this review, you need to be a subscriber to Philosophy Now magazine. The Guardian review, above, can be read by all.)
  • ‘As an introduction to key philosophical concepts for Adams’ fans, Philosophy and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is very successful’ – Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction (vol. 43, issue 117; 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 (January 2015).


  • ‘Oh No, Not Again’: various interesting people and I feature 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
  • 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.

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 (note: Palgrave provides the electronic form of the book in two formats – EPUB and PDF); [EDIT: I cant locate the book on the Australasian site at the moment.]

There’s also Amazon – if you must . .

Excerpts (try before you buy!):

  • the book’s front matter, including the preface and the contents pages;

There is also a list of contributors to the book, here.

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

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