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.

Philosophy  Science fiction  Literature  Humour  Satire


  • ‘[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 (published online 17/9/2014; forthcoming in print).


  • ‘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

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);
  • W. H. Smith’s (UK; price varies depending, seemingly, on stock – the lowest price is £9.79);
  • various independent U.K. bookshops, via ‘Hive’, a tool for shopping locally online [EDIT: currently under £10, at least in my area – and an option if the other suppliers have sold out];

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