Review of Kevin Decker and Jeffery Ewing, Alien and Philosophy: I Infest, Therefore I Am. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017. 240 pages.
The movie Alien first hit the box office in the spring of 1979, and it was met with critical acclaim; in 2008, it ranked seventh best film in the science fiction genre by the American Film Institute. The chestburster scene is now stuff of legend and is iconic in the world of pop-culture and entertainment. Kevin Decker and Jeffery Ewing’s book, Alien and Philosophy: I Infest, Therefore I am, was also published in the spring, thirty eight years later, and not only does it also explore what it means to be human—and alien—but it does so in a way that both the movie and their book share: it is a form of entertainment. Of course, it is clear that Decker and Ewing’s purpose in Alien and Philosophy is not merely to entertain its readers, but to engage the reader in philosophizing while nevertheless ensuring that the entertainment factor is sufficiently met. In a rather gripping way Decker and Ewing explore topics as diverse as “identity and personhood, morality and the political and economic forces of the Alien universe, just war theory in going into battle against the Xenomorphs, the philosophy of horror, and feminist insights into Ripley’s leadership style”.
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