Philosophy deals with profound issues that are important for humanity. At its core, philosophy is concerned with truth and understanding and this is achieved through observation, reading, critical thinking, and analyses of alternative points of view. Critical and systematic thinking require an element of intellectual rigorousness, an open mind and a willingness to understand the views of others. In the study of philosophy we search for an understanding of what it is to be a human being, both as an individual and as members of a group or community.
In Kiss Kill the character, Mat, is grappling with the question of ‘What is a human being?’. In doing so, he must observe others as well as himself by examining thoughts, judgements, emotions, reason and experiences. Other manifestations of being human are also explored such as self-consciousness, agency, intuition, passion and imagination. To gain in his understanding of himself and others Mat explores the use (and value) of language by telling his story using different text types.
Other big philosophical questions for Mat are: ‘Is it possible for a person to truly know themselves …’ and ‘… to truly know others?’ This journey from solipsism to intersubjectivity is a integral part of this young adult story. Of course, no story framed in philosophy can ignore theories on morals and ethics, but Mat’s journey also includes his study of Religious Philosophy. He wrestles with the idea of a God and with the concept of evil (as seen in the character, Elle). Through the study of Buddhism Mat explores ego and egolessness to achieve greater awareness and self-acceptance. He concludes that there is both meaning and meaninglessness in his life and in the lives of others. And ultimately, Mat learns the value of himself.