James Bond and Philosophy: Questions are Forever


James Bond and Philosophy: Questions are Forever



James Bond 007 strode into the human imagination in the novel Casino Royale in 1953 and hit the movie screens with Dr. No in 1962. He has become one of the best-known personalities, real or imagined, in global history. One out of every four people in the entire world has now seen a Bond movie, and every month thousands of new readers become addicted to Ian Fleming’s original Bond stories.

In James Bond and Philosophy, seventeen scholars examine hidden philosophical issues in the hazardous, deceptive, glamorous world of Double-0 Seven. Is Bond a Nietzschean hero who graduates "beyond good and evil"? Does Bond paradoxically break the law in order, ultimately, to uphold it like any "stupid policeman"? What can Bond’s razor-sharp reasoning powers tell us about the scientific pursuit of truth? Does 007’s license to kill help us understand the ethics of counterterrorism? What motivates all those despicable Bond villains—could it be a Hegelian quest for recognition?



Publication Date



Open Court






Table of Contents

Oh, Spare Me This Sentimental Rubbish

Tell Me, Commander, How Far Does Your Expertise Extend into the Field of Philosophy?

Section I No Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Die Bond, Existentialism, and Death

1. Being-Towards-Death and Taking Pleasure in Beauty: James Bond and Existentialism

2. How to Live (and How to Die)

3. Six to Four Against: James Bond and the Hope for a Meaningful Life

Section II Mr. Bond is Indeed a Very Rare Breed: The Man Behind the Number

4. Bond and Phenomenology: Shaken, Not Stirred

5. He Who Eats Meat Wins: appetite, Power, and Nietzsche

6. James Bond: A Nietzschean for the Cold War

7. Bond as Chivalric, Comic Hero

Section III For England, James? Bond, Politics, and Law

8. The Moral Status of the Double-0 Agent: Thinking about the License to Kill

9. “Just a Stupid Policeman”: Bond and the Rule of Law

10. “Don’t You Men Know Any Other Way?” Punishment Beyond Retributivism and Deterrence

Section IV Oh Don’t Be an Idiot 007 Knowledge and Technology

11. The Epistemology of James Bond: The Logic of Abduction

12. James Bond and Q: Heidegger’s Technology, or “You’re Not a Sportsman, Mr. Bond”

13. James Bond and the Philosophy of Technology: It’s More than Just the Gadgets of Q Branch

Section V Why Do Chinese Girls Taste Different from All Other Girls? Multiculturalism, Women and a More Sensitive Bond

14. “That Fatal Kiss”: Bond, Ethics, and the Objectification of Women

15. The New Millennium Bond and Yin-Yang Chinese Cosmology

James Bond Will Return

For Your Eyes Only: Authors’ Dossiers

Index provided Courtesy of Universal Exports

James Bond and Philosophy: Questions are Forever