Supernatural And Philosophy edited by Galen A. Foresman (book review).

November 15, 2013 | By | 2 Replies More

One thing I was never sure about is whether the Winchester brothers would philosophise about their activities as hunters, eliminating the dangerous creatures that inhabit their world. Well, all right, Sam would and has influenced Dean in that not all of these creatures want to be dangerous, just want a quiet drink of cow’s blood and stay away from humans. With ‘Supernatural And Philosophy’, various philosophers address things they see as key issues with their reality and contemplate their meaning.


It goes without saying that there is an examination of the morality of the Winchesters activities. If anything, there is nothing in law to cover what they do, although it does make me wonder why the creatures’ activities never reach government level and they have active units doing ‘official’ work against them. Then again, as often been shown, no one believes this goes on until it happens to them and the politicians are probably in league with the devil already.

Rather amusingly, two of them point out that would we watch ‘Supernatural’ if they weren’t chasing monsters, forgetting that that there are a lot of shows existing that do that already. Most of them are police shows but they still play up the buddy-buddy aspect even if they aren’t brothers.

As there are angels and demons in the ‘Supernatural’ mix, it stands to reason that there is some debate about the existence of God, even if he is on vacation. Although I’m catching up on the latter seasons, I thought that Chuck the writer held that position. Saying that, the discussion on omnipotence and why a God would allow evil to roam the world is interesting but doesn’t go far enough. I tend to do along with the show directive and God just got bored and got a little lax with his gang of angels and let things go. It’s hardly surprising that some of the angels are just as bad as some of the demons. The thought that God created evolution might be worth asking of any creationist believers and see what they say.

There are areas I wish the philosophers had covered in more detail. The angels possessing human bodies and no one can see they true appearance without dying which is hardly angelic. The motivations of the human hunters in general as to what drives them, especially as they are all likely to reach an early grave without achieving much. Possession, too, could have had a closer examination, especially of the brothers so you’re not quite sure who is wearing what flesh suit. Why the angels and demons use Earth as their battlefield. I could go on but you get the idea. Saying that, what is covered should be enough here for the ‘Supernatural’ fan to think about. Don’t get spooked.

GF Willmetts

November 2013

(pub: Wiley-Blackwell. 202 page illustrated indexed enlarged paperback. Price: £11.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-118-61595-9)

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Comments (2)

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  1. Paul says:

    “If anything, there is nothing in law to cover what they do, although it does make me wonder why the creatures’ activities never reach government level and they have active units doing ‘official’ work against them.”

    So, the Whoniverse (Doctor Who/Torchwood) is much more realistic in that regard, then.

  2. UncleGeoff says:

    Hello Paul

    I treat each reality as a separate entity.

    As to Torchwood, Queen Victoria sanctioned them in the first place and they were then government sanctioned as a deep cover operation.

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