I’VE FINALLY REACHED that point when I’m willing to admit that I am, indeed, too old to go trick-or-treating.
I’m also at the age when the thought of binge eating a bag full of candy brings on images of managing my blood sugar rather than the thought of a fun size Snickers™ induced sugar rush.
I’m also know enough to know that a sugar high is not a real thing.
October is nearly over, and I not only wanted to write something for the month of October, but I also I wanted to write something about Halloween.
And since I’ve been doing so much thinking about things, I wanted to think about Halloween philosophically.
Obviously, that’s where I ran into a bit of a problem.
First off, without a shred of embarrassment, I’m gonna say it right now, Halloween is my favorite holiday.
More than Christmas. More than Valentine’s Day or the Fourth of July, my favorite day of the year is the lone day when assuming a different identity and panhandling is not only accepted but encouraged.
I enjoy dressing up in costumes.
I enjoy scaring small children.
I enjoy eating candy.
Diabetic coma be damned.
Now, there’s a field of philosophy that deals with fear − the philosophy of fear. But that has to do with stuff like the social contract and Hobbes – state of nature kind of stuff.
And there’s a philosophy of horror. But that has to do with how we emotionally respond to something that we know isn’t real, like a horror movie.
Philosophers call that “irrational” response is called the paradox of fiction.
Sooo… do philosophers have anything to say about Halloween?
I mean, come on. Philosophers write about everything!
However, if my brief Google search of the words “philosophy” and “Halloween” is any indication of what philosophers think about All Hallows Eve, I find, not a brief Kantian treatise on the proper sexy fireman costume, but to line of skin care products.
You can imagine my disappointment.
Well…there are plenty of books, movies, and t.v. shows that are (either) Halloween themed or popular this time of year that have philosophical under or overtones.
The Saw flicks.
The zombie films of George A. Romero.
Heck, I’ve even written about zombies…
Feminist philosophers talk about sexism in Halloween costumes.
*NOT PICTURED: SEXY SOCRATES HALLOWEEN COSTUME
And some philosophy-lovin’ folks out there have put together some pretty snazzy philosophy-themed, not sexist Halloween costumes.
But when I looked for quotes from the go-to, everybody-knows-their-names philosophers (Kant, Nietzsche, Hegel, you know the names) about Halloween itself, sadly I couldn’t find anything.
Although I found this one quote.
Baudrillard said this about Halloween:
So, my fellow philosophy-loving friends, have you found anything written by philosophers about Halloween?
If you have, let us know in the comments.
Oh, we forgot to say, Happy Halloween, everybody!
For further reading on The Paradox of Fiction: http://www.iep.utm.edu/fict-par/