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La Salle Philosophy Professor And Students Analyze Harry Potter’s Magical World

HarryPotter
John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Harry Potter phenomenon has, of course, created worldwide interest in the magical world it involves. But every so often, La Salle University looks at the philosophy the series embodies.

Assistant Professor Joel Garver says he teaches the philosophy of Harry Potter every several years. It’s an upper level course focusing on the metaphysics and ethics of the wizarding world, and how they relate to our own. Things like its take on virtue and free will versus prophecy.

Professor Garver says he sometimes divides the class into Hogwarts-like “houses” and gives them a question.

“In one of the debates, the question they were dealing with were the unforgivable curses, the killing curse, the imperious curse which controls people, and the cruciatus curse which is a form of torture. The victims of the curses, unable to offer forgiveness in a meaningful way because of the way the curse damage them.”

This, Professor Garver admits, was a new take. He had previously figured they were unforgivable because wizarding society said so.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio