Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy
New Life for the Undead
Edited by Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammad
Volume 49 in the Popular Culture and Philosophy® series
Don’t turn around—there’s probably one behind you right now. Vampires and zombies are just everywhere. Bram Stoker had no idea what he was starting when he published his vampire novel Dracula in 1897, incidentally digging up and re-animating the word “undead.”
Whether it’s Twilight, Let the Right One In, True Blood, or the comic book series Thirty Days of Night, vampire stories seem to experience an eternal cycle of death and resurrection, growing more potent, if not more rosy-cheeked, with each successive manifestation.
While vampires are suave, sexy, sophisticated, stay up all night, generally have good hair, and often deliver witty one-liners, zombies are just the opposite. Zombies have poor complexions, missing body parts, few social graces, and are conversationally challenged. Yet public fascination with zombies keeps proliferating, along with the popularity of vampires. There are more zombie books, zombie movies, and zombie games than ever before.
About the only things vampires and zombies share is that they want to bite us and we are at risk of becoming like them. However, they both confront us with moral and metaphysical issues of life and death. In Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy, an expanded edition of The Undead and Philosophy, twenty-two of our leading thinkers teach us the lessons we can absorb from the various forms of Undeath.
Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy includes all the chapters in the earlier volume, The Undead and Philosophy, along with additional new chapters. Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy replaces The Undead and Philosophy, which is now out of print.
“This is a book worth buying just for the final chapter, which gives us the sensational and hitherto suppressed correspondence of Étienne Lavec and Paulie Dori Williams. At long last we have a vital perspective that has been sadly lacking: authentic vampire reactions to the way vampires are depicted in popular culture.”
— John R. Shook, author of The God Debates
“This book will haunt you! After reading it, you won’t think of vampires, zombies, mummies, and many other animated corpses in the same way. Even if you’re not one of them, you’ll be surprised by how much their world can tell us about ours.”
—Otávio Bueno, University of Miami
“It’s hard to think of a theme from popular culture that is more ripe for a philosophical treatment, which makes this volume long overdue. Greene and Mohammad have done an excellent job of bringing together a wide range of sophisticated writing on this ghoulish topic.”
— Duncan Pritchard, Author of What Is This Thing Called Knowledge?
Richard Greene is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Weber State University and co-editor of The Golden Compass and Philosophy: God Bites the Dust (2009). K. Silem Mohammad is Associate Professor of English and Writing at Southern Oregon University and author of several books of poetry including The Front (2009) and Breathalyzer (2008). Greene and Mohammad also co-edited Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy: How to Philosophize with a Pair of Pliers and a Blowtorch (2007).