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ISBN 0-8126-9616-6



288 pages

(Spring 2007)

Hitchcock and Philosophy

Dial M for Metaphysics

Edited by David Baggett and William A. Drumin
Volume 27 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series
  • The gushing shower in the Bates motel suddenly becomes a shower of blood
  • The birds line up on the fence, watching and waiting
  • An airplane chases Cary Grant through a cornfield
  • James Stewart experiences vertigo in the church tower in San Juan Bautista

These moments are as real to us as our earliest remembered birthday, or the assassination of King or the Kennedys.

Alfred Hitchcock is the cinematic genius who took over popular consciousness and won't let it go.

More than any other popular director, Hitchcock confronts his audience with disturbing ideas, concepts, and ethical issues.

  • What does Sabotage, the classic movie portrait of a terrorist, teach us about 9/11?
  • Can The Birds show us the distinguishing marks of human nature?
  • Does Psycho come to the help of theologians concerned about the Problem of Evil?
  • What insight does Lifeboat provide into the dilemmas of democracy confronted by the totalitarian mentality?
  • Are the philosophically minded killers in Rope really disciples of Friedrich Nietzsche, or have they got Nietzschean ethics wrong?
  • How does Vertigo illustrate the difficulty of really knowing another person?
  • When is it rational for us to be terrified out of our wits?

"Contrary to Hitchcock's notorious refrain, 'It's only a movie,' his films are the most analyzed of any in the history of cinema. After years on the psychoanalytic couch, they receive a philosophical treatment in Hitchcock and Philosophy, a book worthy of Hitchcock fans and philosophers alike!"

—Josef Steiff, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Independent Filmmaking

"Hitchcock and Philosophy will grab you by your id. Here's a sensational new study of the films of the Master of Suspense. The perceptive writers show us that the films we thought were escapist entertainment can offer far-reaching revelations about ourselves, and the quirks that make us human. Filtered through the theories and visions of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, and Nietzsche, Hitchcock's films suggest meanings and applications we may never have imagined."

—Thomas C. Renzi, author of Cornell Woolrich from Pulp Noir to Film Noir

"This is a terrific book that will be enjoyed immensely by all Hitchcock fans, the vast array of film lovers generally, and anyone else who wants to think more philosophically about some of the most interesting and challenging aspects of our lives."

—Tom Morris, author of The Stoic Art of Living and Philosophy for Dummies

David Baggett is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Liberty University and coeditor of Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts (2004). William A. Drumin is Associate Professor of Philosophy at King's College, Pennsylvania, and author of Thematic and Methodological Foundations of Alfred Hitchcock's Artistic Vision (2004). For the past fifteen years he has taught a course in the cinematic artistry of Alfred Hitchcock.

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