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Doctor Strange and Philosophy: The Other Book of Forbidden Knowledge



Doctor Strange and Philosophy: The Other Book of Forbidden Knowledge

William Irwin (Series Editor), Mark D. White (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-43792-5 May 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 288 Pages


Explore the mind and world of the brilliant neurosurgeon-turned-Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Stephen Strange

Marvel Comics legends Stan Lee and Steve Ditko first introduced Doctor Stephen Strange to the world in 1963—and his spellbinding adventures have wowed comic book fans ever since. Over fifty years later, the brilliant neurosurgeon-turned-Sorcerer Supreme has finally travelled from the pages of comics to the big screen, introducing a new generation of fans to his mind-bending mysticism and self-sacrificing heroics. In Doctor Strange and Philosophy, Mark D. White takes readers on a tour through some of the most interesting and unusual philosophical questions which surround Stephen Strange and his place in the Marvel Universe.

Essays from two-dozen Philosophers Supreme illuminate how essential philosophical concepts, including existentialism, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics, relate to the world of Doctor Strange. Fans will find answers to all their Strange questions: How does Doctor Strange reconcile his beliefs in science and magic? What does his astral self say about the relationship between mind and body? Why is he always so alone? And what does he mean when he says we’re just “tiny momentary specks within an indifferent universe”—and why was he wrong?

You won’t need the Eye of Agamotto to comprehend all that is wise within. Doctor Strange and Philosophy offers comic book fans and philosophers alike the chance to dive deeper into the world of one of Marvel’s most mystical superheroes.

Contributors: The Philosophers Supreme viii

Acknowledgments: By the Glorious Grandiloquence of Gratitude! xiv

Introduction: Opening the Book of the Vishanti 1

Part I “You’re Just Another Tiny, Momentary Speck within an Indifferent Universe” 3

1 Bargaining with Eternity and Numbering One’s Days: Medicine, Nietzsche, and Doctor Strange 5
George A. Dunn

2 Death Gives Meaning to Life: Martin Heidegger Meets Stephen Strange 17
Sander H. Lee

3 “Time Will Tell How Much I Love You”: A Nietzschean Übermensch’s Issues with Love and Friendship 25
Skye C. Cleary

4 Existentialism, Nihilism, and the Meaning of Life for Doctor Strange 35
Paul DiGeorgio

Part II “Forget Everything That You Think You Know” 47

5 “Through an Orb Darkly”: Doctor Strange and the Journey to Knowledge 49
Armond Boudreaux

6 Forbidden Knowledge and Strange Virtues: It’s Not What You Know, It’s How You Know It 60
Tuomas W. Manninen

7 Doctor Strange, Socratic Hero? 68
Chad William Timm

8 Are We All “Looking at the World Through a Keyhole”? Knowledge, Ignorance, and Bias 78
Carina Pape

9 Stephen Strange vs. Ayn Rand: A Doesn’t Always Equal A 88
Edwardo Pérez

Part III “Reality Is One of Many” 99

10 Astral Bodies and Cartesian Souls: Mind‐Body Dualism in Doctor Strange 101
Dean A. Kowalski

11 Scientists, Metaphysicians, and Sorcerers Supreme 111
Sarah K. Donovan and Nicholas Richardson

12 “This Is Time”: Setting Time in Doctor Strange by Henri Bergson’s Clock 125
Corey Latta

Part IV “A Man Looking at the World Through a Keyhole” 137

13 A Strange Case of a Paradigm Shift 139
Brendan Shea

14 Doctor Strange, the Multiverse, and the Measurement Problem 151
Philipp Berghofer

15 The Strange World of Paradox: Science and Belief in Kamar‐Taj 164
Matthew William Brake

Part V “It’s Not About You” 175

16 The Otherworldly Burden of Being the Sorcerer Supreme 177
Mark D. White

17 The Ancient One and the Problem of Dirty Hands 191
Michael Lyons

18 They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wong 197
Daniel P. Malloy

19 Doctor Strange, Master of the Medical and Martial Arts 207
Bruce Wright and E. Paul Zehr

Part VI “I’ve Come to Bargain” 217

20 Is Dormammu Evil?: St. Augustine and the Dark Dimension 219
Andrew T. Vink

21 Doctor Strange and Leo Tolstoy: Brothers in Nonviolence? 228
Konstantin Pavliouts

22 Doctor Strange, Moral Responsibility, and the God Question 238
Christopher P. Klofft

The Index of the All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto 250