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Frankenstein and Philosophy 

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ISBN 978-0-8126-9836-7


x + 302 pages

September 2013

Frankenstein and Philosophy

The Shocking Truth

Edited by Nicolas Michaud
Volume 79 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series

That twenty-first-century Prometheus Dr. Nicolas Michaud (“They said I was crazy! Ha!”) and his uncannily dedicated team have stitched together sundry pieces of tissue torn from movies, TV shows, comics, and novels, and assembled these into a single bodily form with some resemblance to an intelligent being, yet possessed of disconcerting oddities, including the disturbing habit of asking strange questions:

  • Why do we assume that ugly is evil? Are we responsible for what our creations do?
  • Was Dr. Frankenstein’s creature a monster, and what makes something a monster anyway?
  • If it’s wrong to make monsters, can it really be okay to make babies?
  • Is God equally as guilty as Dr. Frankenstein?
  • Has science become a monster, or is that all down to capitalism?

“Sure, some of the philosophers quoted in Frankenstein and Philosophy have been dead for centuries, but just put a few million volts through them, and they sit up and start talking. Even more amazing, they make sense! Nick Michaud has done a terrific job of getting some of today’s leading thinkers to talk about the Frankenstein mythos and its many fascinating life-and-death questions.”

—Robert Arp, co-author of What’s Good on TV? Teaching Ethics through Television

“This electrifying book does exactly what it sets out to do . . . carve up Frankenstein for closer, and often gruesome, inspection. Fun and witty, the authors poke and prod at Frankenstein from every angle and reveal some shocking truths. An excellent read for anyone who isn’t afraid of a morbid bit of fun, Frankenstein and Philosophy brings to life some of the most important questions we can ask about life, death, and evil. Michaud reminds us of something we already knew, but sometimes forget—that Frankenstein’s monster is very much alive and well!”

—Jerry Johnson, Associate Professor and Educational Leadership Program Coordinator, University of North Florida

“Written at the daybreak of modernity, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein draws together some of the epoch’s most prominent features: the monstrosity of science and its use; the dream of creating and controlling life; the idea of ‘man as God’ and its illusory character. Now Frankenstein and Philosophy helps us see the real significance of the entire Frankenstein phenomenon, in movies and comic books as well as novels. This pathbreaking volume is a must read for the many fans of the many Frankensteins!”

 —Hans-Herbert Kögler, author of The Power of Dialogue

Nicolas Michaud is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida State College Jacksonville. He has contributed chapters to many collections including Dexter and Philosophy: Mind over Spatter and World of Warcraft and Philosophy: Wrath of the Philosopher King. Having unleashed Frankenstein and Philosophy upon the world, Dr. Michaud is content to let it wander around perpetrating whatever naughtiness it feels like, and has retreated into his mountain fastness to work on Jurassic Park and Philosophy. “You see, this time it’s all about a spiffy, high-tech experiment in carefully isolated conditions, so what can possibly go wrong?”

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