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Philosophy 276

Harry Potter & Philosophy: Wizarding & Wisdom

J.K. Rowling’s seven-book series provides unique and imaginative material for engaging philosophical topics of perennial interest: good and evil, virtue and vice, friendship, personal identity, the use and abuse of technology, and so on. We will also frame discussion by considering the role literature plays in shaping a philosophical imagination and the relationship of fiction to philosophy.

Prerequisite: Students are expected to have read at least five of the Harry Potter books prior to the course. It is best if you have read all seven since the course will presuppose thorough knowledge of all seven books and will make reference to the plot and contents of all seven books. Furthermore, writing and debates will require knowledge of the texts, plots, characters, etc.


Links to course materials and resources:

  • Syllabus (.docx)
    A description of the course content, texts, and expectations.


  • Readings & Resources (.docx)
    An approximate timetable of readings and due dates, along with a topical list of further texts.


  • Debate Format (.docx)
    An explanation of the in-class debate format and schedule


  • Mid-Term essay (TBA)
    a 4-5 page critical essay


  • Final Essay (TBA)
    an 5-7 page argumentative essay