Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus sparked into life a fascination with science-gone-awry that refuses to die. From 1818 to present-day Hollywood, the story of Victor Frankenstein and his reanimated, stitched-together corpse has inspired (some would say) the very idea of modern science fiction and countless essays, movies, novels, songs, comic-books, and TV shows aiming to capture what was right, wrong, abominable, inevitable, scary, or funny in this classic tale.
Can organic life be reanimated using electricity or genetic manipulation? If so, could Frankenstein’s monster really teach itself to read and speak as Mary Shelley imagined? Do monsters have rights, or responsibilities to those who would as soon kill them? What is it about music that so affects Frankenstein’s monster, or any of us? What does Mel Brook’s Frau Blucher say to contemporary eco-feminism? Why are some Frankenstein’s flops and others historic successes? Is there a true Frankenstein? Why are children, but not adults, drawn to Shelley’s monster? And what is a monster,” anyways?
Frankenstein and Philosophy brings 25 philosophers to stitch together these and other questions as they apply the history of philosophy to history’s greatest horror franchise. Some chapters treat the Frankenstein films, others the original novel, and yet others the many comic books, novels, and modern adaptations. Together they pay tribute to perhaps the most enduring pop culture icon and the fundamental fears, hopes, questions, and puzzles it raises.