James Bond and Philosophy
Questions Are Forever
James B. South & Jacob M. Held
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Bond. James Bond.” Since Sean Connery first uttered that iconic phrase in Dr. No, more than one quarter of the world’s population has seen a 007 film. Witty and urbane, Bond seduces and kills with equal ease often, it seems, with equal enthusiasm. This enthusiasm, coupled with his freedom to do what is forbidden to everyone else, evokes fascinating philosophical questions. Here, 15 witty, thought-provoking essays discuss hidden issues in Bond’s world, from his carnal pleasures to his license to kill. Among the lively topics explored are Bond’s relation to existentialism, including his graduation beyond good and evil”; his objectification of women; the paradox of breaking the law in order to ultimately uphold it like any stupid policeman”; the personality of 007 in terms of Plato’s moral psychology; and the Hegelian quest for recognition evinced by Bond villains. A reference guide to all the Bond movies rounds out the book’s many pleasures.