By Rebecca Housel
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Extra resources for Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series)
Recall that sometimes we don’t grant that a certain human is a person. It might be because of arbitrary and bigoted reasons (we want to keep slaves) or because we believe that personhood requires certain ethical notions (notions a serial killer lacks, for example). Vampires often act in ways that we consider horribly unethical. If a person rejects the morals of the community in drastic ways that violate the personhood of others, then they themselves choose to be apart from the moral community, and thereby choose to stand outside the moral realm of persons.
Yet we must have some idea of perfection in order to be able to recognize these myriad forms of imperfection. Socrates’ myth suggests that our idea of perfection is a dim memory of our heavenly existence, when we both gazed and feasted on the ideal forms of justice, moderation, knowledge, and other divine realities that have only defective likenesses on earth. We would be feasting on those visions of perfection today if not for a series of grievous mishaps and blunders that caused us to lose our wings and fall to Earth, where we’re now imprisoned in needy and cumbersome bodies, forced to rely on defective senses that distract us from our memory of the grandeur we once beheld.
23. , 31 (250b–c). 24. , (250d). 25. , 35–36 (254a–b). 26. , 36 (254e). 27. Twilight, p. 277. 28. , pp. 277–278. 29. New Moon, p. 515. DYI NG TO EAT: TH E VEG ETAR IAN ETH ICS OF TW I LIGHT Jean Kazez Edward Cullen is the kind of vampire you’d want your daughter to date, if she had to date a vampire. It’s particularly reassuring the way he’s in control of his appetites. Bella Swan looks delicious to him, in every sense, but he knows what is allowed and not allowed (particularly in ﬁction suitable for teens).