Ontological Humility: Lord Voldemort and the Philosophers
Neither self-effacing modesty nor religious meekness, ontological humility is a moral and philosophical attitude toward transcendence—the unknown and unknowable background of existence—and a recognition and awareness of the contingency and chance that influence the course of our lives. It is a concept that Nancy J. Holland finds both throughout the history of philosophy and across the volumes of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Tracing it through the philosophical thought of figures ranging from Descartes, Hume, and Kant to Heidegger, Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, and Derrida, Holland uses the Harry Potter saga as a guide to illustrate the concept, revealing a whole set of ethical imperatives. Connecting the concept to contemporary gender and race theory, she demonstrates its implications both for our understanding of the philosophical tradition and for the way we live our own lives.
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analytic philosophy ancient Greeks argues argument Aristotle Aristotle’s Beauvoir believes biopower Black body causal claim concept consciousness created Dasein death Deathly Hallows deﬁned deﬁnition Derrida Descartes Descartes’s différance discourse discussion dualisms emphasis epistemological humility epistemologies of ignorance Ethical existence existentialism experience feminist ﬁeld ﬁnal ﬁnds ﬁrst freedom Frye’s gender Harry Potter Heidegger’s hereafter cited hierarchical dualisms Hogwarts human Hume Hume’s I. K. Rowling Iacques Derrida identiﬁed inﬁnite Kant Kant’s Kierkegaard knight of faith knowledge language lives Lord Voldemort magic Martin Heidegger McWhorter means Merleau-Ponty metaphysics Michel Foucault Ministry of Magic modern moral notes object one’s ontological humility oppression perception philosophical Plato political present-at-hand PWD-I question race racism reason reference reﬂects relationship Rowling’s sacriﬁce Sartre Sartre’s says scientiﬁc sense sexuality signiﬁcations Sirius Black speciﬁc things thinking thought tradition trans truth Tuana understanding University Press Voldemort women word York