Steven Spielberg and Philosophy: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Book (Philosophy Of Popular Culture)
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Has any film director had a greater impact on popular culture than Steven Spielberg? Whether filming Holocaust heroes and villains, soldiers, dinosaurs, extraterrestrials, or explorers in search of the Holy Grail, Spielberg has given filmgoers some of the most memorable characters and wrenching moments in the history of cinema. Whatever his subject―war, cloning, slavery, terrorism, or adventure―all of Spielberg's films have one aspect in common: a unique view of the moral fabric of humanity. Dean A. Kowalski's Steven Spielberg and Philosophy is like a remarkable conversation after a night at the movie theater, offering new insights and unexpected observations about the director's most admired films. Some of the nation's most respected philosophers investigate Spielberg's art, asking fundamental questions about the nature of humanity, cinema, and Spielberg's expression of his chosen themes. Applying various philosophical principles to the movies, the book explores such topics as the moral demands of parenthood in War of the Worlds; the ultimate unknowability of the "other" in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Schindler's List; the relationship between nature and morality in Jurassic Park; the notion of consciousness in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence; issues of war theory and ethics in Munich; and the foundation of human rights in Amistad. Impressive in scope, this volume illustrates the philosophical tenets of a wide variety of thinkers from Plato to Aquinas, Locke, and Levinas. Contributors introduce readers to philosophy while simultaneously providing deeper insight into Spielberg's approach to filmmaking. The essays consider Spielberg's movies using key philosophical cornerstones: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, axiology, aesthetics, and political philosophy, among others. At the same time, Steven Spielberg and Philosophy is accessible to those new to philosophy, using the philosophical platform to ponder larger issues embedded in film and asking fundamental questions about the nature of cinema and how meanings are negotiated. The authors contend that movies do not present philosophy―rather philosophy is something viewers do while watching and thinking about films. Using Spielberg's films as a platform for discussing these concepts, the authors contemplate questions that genuinely surprise the reader, offering penetrating insights that will be welcomed by film critics, philosophers, and fans alike.
(“Mecha don’t plead for their lives!” cries one crowd member [Lily Knight]), throwing trash at the Fair’s producer, and chanting for David’s release. The ensuing chaos results in David and Joe’s freedom. However, Searle again would insist that the crowd gives in to close-to-human imita- tion, mistaking it for the real thing. The crowd does not really know that David is a machine—if they did, this would license their erstwhile call for David’s destruction. Searle would probably say that
2003); most recently, his “Hobbes and Locke on Social Contracts and Contributors 269 Scarlet Carsons” appears in Joseph Foy’s anthology Homer Simpson Goes to Washington (2008). Michel Le Gall has taught in the history departments of St. Olaf College and Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. His research interests and specializations include the Near East and North African studies. He is the coeditor of, and a contributor to, The Maghrib in Question: History and His- toriography
encounter is anything but pleasant. He has to face Marion’s scorn: Marion: I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years. Indiana: I never meant to hurt you. Marion: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it. Indiana: You knew what you were doing. Marion: Now I do. This is my place. Get out. Speaking of her late father’s opinion of the young Jones, the two continue: Marion: He said you were a bum. Indiana: Aw, he’s being generous. Marion: The most gifted bum he ever
yourself, . . . what court wants to be responsible for the spark that ignites the firestorm? What president wants to be in office when it comes crashing down around him? Certainly no court before this one. Certainly no president before this one. So . . . the real determination our courts and our president must make is not whether this ragtag group of Africans raised swords against their enemy, but rather, must we?” We earlier mentioned John Stuart Mill, for whom the elimination of
crypto-atheist for his elevation of human reason as a proper instrument for discerning the natural law and applying its principles to evaluations of justice. Locke’s contemporary critics also complained that he made God irrelevant to political morality, largely by uncoupling God’s will from judgments of legitimacy. The monarchical order had long rested on a presupposition that monarchy was the preferred form of government because it mirrored on earth the divine order of one lawgiver at the