The Philosopher at the End of the Universe: Philosophy Explained Through Science Fiction Films
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Learn about: The Nature of Reality from The Matrix, Good and Evil from Star Wars, Morality from Aliens, Personal Identity from Total Recall, The Mind-Body dilemma from Terminator, Free Will from Minority Report, Death and the Meaning of Life from Blade Runner, and much more. A search for knowledge about ourselves and the world around us with a star-studded cast that includes: Tom Cruise, Plato, Harrison Ford, Immanuel Kant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigourney Weaver, Rene? Descartes, and Keanu Reeves.
Rowlands anchors his discussions in easily understood everyday terms and relates them in a manner easy to identify with. Interspersed with a ready joke or two, he wonderfully explains why those SciFi movies we love so much are much deeper than they appear to be on the surface. Mark Rowlands's entertaining and stimulating guide is perfect for anyone searching for knowledge of the world around us.
If Keanu can understand Descartes surely everyone can.
monkeys and apes, sew them back on to the bodies of other monkeys or apes, and keep the resulting combination alive. There is some scientist guy who goes around doing this. It’s not clear why he does it, but he does. The resulting combination of head and body is, of course, paralysed from the neck down, but still alive and can be kept alive for a matter of weeks. This has been done. And if it is technically possible to do that with apes, it can also be done with human beings. Suppose this
has not yet happened, it can only be if the future is made inevitable by what’s going on in the present and what has gone on in the past. The present is fixed or determined by the past, and the future is fixed or determined by the present. And this is precisely what determinism claims. You can, legitimately, have a judicial system based on precogs, therefore, only if the future is fixed by the past and present. That is – if determinism is true. There is, of course, a paradox involved here, one
for what appears to be a different type of reason. We can sometimes do something because we believe – rightly or wrongly – that it is the right thing to do. Not necessarily ‘right’ for us, at least not in any prudential sense, but morally right. Indeed, often what we believe is morally right does not coincide with what we want, and so does not coincide with our prudential reasons for acting at all. If Kevin Bacon was not such a bastard to begin with, then he might have hesitated in attempting to
Anyway, while I would love to talk about Starship Troopers, this would leave us with three chapters on Verhoeven – a straightforward Verhoevenfest. So, the vastly inferior Independence Day it is. Earth is invaded by a highly intelligent, yet morally suspect, species of aliens. The aliens wander the galaxy in huge space-going cities, themselves the size of small planets. Their lifestyle is that of sort of extraterrestrial Vikings. They wander the galaxy, and whenever they encounter a planet that
lose a future: as the flames consume the last portion of it, there will be no time later than the present at which that individual book will exist. Clearly, everything has a future, and just about everything can lose a future in this sense. There is a way of using the word ‘harm’ according to which it makes sense to say that the book is harmed when you throw it in the fire. But clearly the harm is very different in this case from the harm suffered when someone’s life is taken away. This is, I