The popularity of the His Dark Materials trilogy has generated a major motion picture, a stage play, video games, and a new prequel. The series has also been highly controversial with its use of exciting adventure stories for children to comment on organized religion. These books have piqued the interest of the contributors to this fascinating volume, who use it to probe the philosophical issues that inform them. Could a golden compass, or alethiometer, really work? Can a person's soul or daemon have a mind of its own? What are the ramifications of pursuing the diabolical "intercision" process, or of trying to bring about the death of God, a plot that Lyra and her mysterious Father struggle over? These are some of the questions explored by these essays that try to get to the heart of Lyra's bewildering, inspiring, and multifaceted world.
Rachel Robison is a graduate student in the philosophy department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has published several articles on philosophy and popular culture topics.
Richard Greene is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He has co-edited several titles in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series, most recently Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy.