Parasite: A Philosophical Exploration


Parasite is a philosophically interesting film because it presents the ethico-biological problem of parasitism in a metaphorical and artistic fashion. Michel Serres, in his book called The Parasite, holds that parasites are not in fact useless, but that they establish communications between different spheres and are thus able to transform large-scale organisms. Parasites import coincidences, activate defence systems, and establish new links with the host. In this book, philosophers explore the film from various angles: using the ancient satirist Lucian’s De Parasito, Nietzsche’s concept of “the vengeance of the weak,” Dostoyevsky’s “underground,” Marxism, and many more.

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Thorsten Botz-Bornstein, Ph.D. (1993), is Professor of Philosophy at Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait.

Giannis Stamatellos, Ph.D. (2005), is Professor of Philosophy and the President of the Institute of Philosophy & Technology in Athens, Greece.
Notes on Contributors


1 Parasitism beyond Ethics
  Thorsten Botz-Bornstein

2 The Paradoxical Universal of Korean Cinema
  Steve Choe

3 Parasite from Text to Context An Ethical Stalemate and New Auteurism in Global Cinema
  Seung-hoon Jeong

4 From Superfluous to Parasitic Russian Literature, Arendt and Korean Modernity
  Daniel Regnier

5 Notes from the (Korean) Underground Being-in-the-world Is Being-a-Parasite
  Richard McDonough

6 Mice and Cockroaches Parasite through Nietzsche and Dostoevsky
  Paolo Stellino

7 Planning Not to Plan The Fantasy and Failure of Underclass Solidarity in Parasite
  Daniel Conway

8 Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite Viewed in the Context of Pasolini’s Theorem and Deleuze’s Filmic Theories
  Tony Partridge

9 From Parasites to Monsters The Unfulfilled Promises of Serres’ Parasitism in Bong Joon-ho’s Neoliberal Social Allegories
  Hye Seung Chung

10 Parasite: A Predicative or a Substantial Concept?
  Vincenzo Lomuscio

11 “A System of Apprehensions” The Art of Parasitism in Lucian’s De Parasito and Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite
  Giannis Stamatellos

12 The Parasite Is the Truth of the System
  Hyun Kang Kim

13 Parasite and Identity in the “End Times” An Interpretation of Bong Joon-Ho’s Film through the Lens of Slavoj Žižek
  Michelle Phillips Buchberger

14 Parasite as a Scaled-Down Disaster Film
  Enrico Terrone

15 Symbiosis, Interruption, and Exchange Parasite after Serres’ The Parasite
  Michael Weinman and Shai Biderman


Students and researchers of philosophy, aesthetics, cultural studies, film studies
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