Ever since it was first unleashed in 1818 the story of Victor Frankenstein and his reanimated, stitched-together corpse has inspired intense debate. Can organic life be reanimated using electricity or genetic manipulation? If so, could Frankenstein’s monster really teach itself to read and speak as Mary Shelley imagined? Do monsters have rights, or responsibilities to those who would as soon kill them? What is it about music that so affects Frankenstein’s monster, or any of us? What does Mel Brook’s Frau Blucher say to contemporary eco-feminism? Why are some Frankenstein’s flops and others historic successes? Is there a true Frankenstein? Why are children, but not adults, drawn to Shelley’s monster? And what is a monster,” anyway? Frankenstein and Philosophy calls 25 philosophers to stitch together these and other questions as they apply to history’s greatest horror franchise. Some chapters treat the Frankenstein films, others the original novel, and yet others the many comic books, novels, and modern adaptations. Together they pay tribute to perhaps the most enduring pop culture icon and the fundamental fears, hopes, and puzzles it raises.
Nicolas Michaud is an assistant professor of Philosophy at Florida State College Jacksonville. He is the editor of Hunger Games and Philosophy (2012).