Sixteen philosophers come at Hannibal the way he comes at his victims—from unexpected angles and with plenty of surprises thrown in. Hannibal is a revolting monster, and yet a monster with whom we identify because of his intelligence, artistry, and personal magnetism. The chapters in this book pose many questions—and offer intriguing answers—about the enigma of Hannibal Lecter. What does the the relationship between Hannibal and those who know him—particularly FBI investigator Will Graham—tell us about the nature of friendship and Hannibal’s capacity for friendship? Does Hannibal confer benefits on society by eliminating people who don’t live up to his high aesthetic standards? Can upsetting experiences in early childhood turn you into a serial killer? Why are we enthralled by someone who exercises god-like control over situations and people? Does it make any difference morally that a killer eats his victims? Can a murder be a work of art? Several chapters look at the mind of this accomplished killer, psychiatrist, and gourmet cook. Is he a sociopath or a psychopath, or are these the same: Is he lacking in empathy: Apparently not, since he has a quick understanding of what other people think and feel. Maybe what he lacks is a conscience.
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