Avatar and Philosophy: Learning to See (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
What is empathy and can the Na’vi tsaheylu help us to achieve it?
How are mind, body, and personal identity related for an avatar-driver?
Does it take an avatar to understand and value the culture of the Na’vi?
What can we learn from the Na’vi about respecting the natural world?
Can religious beliefs help to foster a concern for the environment?
James Cameron’s critically acclaimed movie Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards and received countless accolades for its breath-taking visuals and use of 3D technology. But beyond its cinematic splendour, can Avatar also offer us insights into environmental ethics, business ethics, empathy, disability, and the relationship between mind and body? Can getting to know the Na’vi, an alien species, enlarge our vision and help us to “see” both our world and ourselves in new ways?
Written by an esteemed group of philosophers and fellow fans, the book explains philosophical concepts in a fun and accessible manner that will appeal to all levels of readers. It explores issues such as religion, morality, aesthetics, empathy, identity, the relationship of mind and body, environmental and business ethics, technology, and just war theory. It examines a wide range of topics from James Cameron’s blockbuster, including attitudes toward nature, our responsibilities to nonhuman species, colonialism, disability, and communitarian ethics. Full of philosophical insights for even the most knowledgeable film buff, this is an engaging look at one of the most thought-provoking and popular movies of recent years.
fellow animals who make up “the people.” In addition to hunting for food, the Na’vi make other uses of their fellow animals, though typically in ways that seems more cooperative than exploitative. When the time comes for Jake to bond with an ikran, the winged creature must first “choose” Jake by trying to kill him, while the other ikran ignore him and fly away. Jake must then subdue his ikran, wrestling it to the ground and forcing the bond that will link the two together for life. Once the bond
since their choice to avoid stimuli that would awaken appropriate moral emotions is itself a blameworthy decision. According to Aquinas’s hierarchy of being, human beings may justifiably use nonrational animals to support their own life. It would be permissible for a human being to kill an animal for food26 or to save her own life from a predatory attack if there are no other viable options – just as Neytiri kills the viperwolves to save Jake in their first encounter, albeit with sadness and
order to have a mind. Plants on Pandora obviously have minds, as is evident from the behavior of those atokirina that remind Neytiri of her moral obligations. 98 kyle burchett “More Connections Than the Human Brain” Soon after Jake is initiated into the Omaticaya clan, Neytiri leads him to a grove of trees that are sacred to the Na’vi. Connecting the end of his queue to the tendrils of one of the trees, he is amazed to hear the voices of several Na’vi. It is a Tree of Voices, through which
“Diplomacy has failed.” It’s clear that this “diplomacy” was a charade that was never supposed to work, but was undertaken only in order to make the subsequent resort to force seem more legitimate. War, not peace, was the real aim of their false diplomacy. “I Was Hoping for Some Sort of Tactical Plan that Didn’t Involve Martyrdom” On all counts, the RDA’s attack on the Na’vi fails to satisfy the principles of ius ad bellum, which specify when the use of force is acceptable. As we turn now to
“grandfather’s grandfather” was chosen by a toruk to become “Toruk Macto, rider of last shadow,” something that “has happened only five times since the time of the First Songs.” The mighty Toruk Macto is celebrated by the Na’vi for having “brought the clans together in a time of great sorrow.” This memory resonates so deeply with the Omaticaya that, when Jake appears from out of the sky on the back of a toruk, he becomes a powerful emblem of hope for the beleaguered clan, inspiring them to unite