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The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film

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Science fiction films give viewers a glimpse into alternative realities, and also explore various philosophical questions and themes. The contributors to this volume use classic science fiction movies to explore complex philosophical themes and concepts.


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Science fiction films give viewers a glimpse into alternative realities, and also explore various philosophical questions and themes. The contributors to this volume use classic science fiction movies to explore complex philosophical themes and concepts.

30 review for The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I learned so much from this! "Science fiction is a genre that exploits, probably more than any other, a range of central philosophical themes and topics. Of course, various genres raise philosophical questions. The western and the crime film ask, in different ways, What is justice? The family melodrama and the romantic comedy ask, in different ways, What is love? But it is a feature of science fiction to ask such questions as, What is it to be human? What are the conditions of personal identity? I learned so much from this! "Science fiction is a genre that exploits, probably more than any other, a range of central philosophical themes and topics. Of course, various genres raise philosophical questions. The western and the crime film ask, in different ways, What is justice? The family melodrama and the romantic comedy ask, in different ways, What is love? But it is a feature of science fiction to ask such questions as, What is it to be human? What are the conditions of personal identity? What are the roles played by reason/desire/memory in human existence?" What Is It To Be Human, Deborah Knight and George McKnight "...[R]eason had always defined itself in relation to—and against—mythology. And now, with no mythology left, reason goes searching for a new target, and (finding nothing) eventually it turns upon itself." "The collective unconscious is filled with images of mythology: heroes, gods, monsters, demons, violent nature, magic, and many ancient symbols. And these are repressed and held at bay by reason. Yet, once reason declares itself a myth (in the hands of Nietzsche), and now that reality more closely resembles that of the ancient mythical world, all of those ancient symbols and myths of heroes and demons, all those violent, pluralistic, wild, erotic impulses come bubbling back up to the surface." The Dialectic Of Enlightenment In Metropolis, Jerold J. Abrams "You might think here of the commitment-free, risk-free, hedonistic Web surfer, someone who sits in front of a computer screen and bounces mentally and whimsically from one Web site to another, without any ultimate passion or active engagement. Such a form of obsessive detachment from the natural world and from the experience of one’s own body can lead to nihilism, the belief that nothing matters, in the undermining of our commitments and concerns. We would become little more than passive and neutral spectators, gliding from one Internet portal to the next, and our daily lives would follow suit. Kubrick’s 2001 impels us to ponder the moral, psychological, existential, and even spiritual dangers of our drive to transcend our general state of humanity, particularly the problems that may arise if we ignore the requirements that our physical embodiment imposes upon us." "Computers and computerized robots do not experience the kinds of sensations and emotions—like those of curiosity and risk and sacrifice and satisfaction—that make us respond to situations in very human ways. Without the range of bodily options and orientations that we as human beings encounter from moment to moment, simply because we are denied by our physical situations and the choices that they impose, machines cannot hope to imitate the full depth and breadth of human intelligence. Thus far, the only computers that have been able to sense and experience—indeed, feel—the world as humans do are those that we see in films." 2001: A Philosophical Odyssey, Kevin L. Stoehr

  2. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Rowlan

    Generally, I like my philosophy watered down, rather than read from Plato onward in the (translated, in most cases) original, I prefer summaries or surveys or fictional allusions to philosophy (as in Philip Kerr's A Philosophical Investigation). And since I've been watching science fiction films since I was a kid, The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film didn't disappoint. The books brings to the fore questions of identity, time travel, and dystopian fears when discussing (among others) the Termin Generally, I like my philosophy watered down, rather than read from Plato onward in the (translated, in most cases) original, I prefer summaries or surveys or fictional allusions to philosophy (as in Philip Kerr's A Philosophical Investigation). And since I've been watching science fiction films since I was a kid, The Philosophy of Science Fiction Film didn't disappoint. The books brings to the fore questions of identity, time travel, and dystopian fears when discussing (among others) the Terminator, The Matrix, Blade Runner, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and even Godard's Alphaville. Naturally, the philosophers mentioned are more or less 20th century figures, Heidegger, Husserl, Sartre, etc., the notable exception being Descartes whose obvious relation to The Matrix was clear to me on first viewing (though the film itself I always thought was overrated). The book brings unexpected insights to these movies, though at times labored to bring significance to what might seem more like popcorn entertainment, still for one interested in the subject matter, a worthwhile read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Keith Cochran

    This was great at showing how the different thoughts in philosophy related to film. It made me think about how this applies to my writing and how I view films. It also made me want to learn more about philosophy. An inspiring book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    For anyone that has watch multiple science ficton movies this is a great gateway into some of the fundamental philosophical questions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tatao Burduli

    I rrreally wanted to give 5/5, but the chapters on 2001 and 1984 were simply squeezed out of thin air.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    One of the better pop culture / philosophy books. Scan the list of movies, if you're familiar with most of them and have at least a passing interest in philosophy, you'll have a good read. One of the better pop culture / philosophy books. Scan the list of movies, if you're familiar with most of them and have at least a passing interest in philosophy, you'll have a good read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zae-young

  8. 4 out of 5

    Talie

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mauro Silva

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robert Barrett

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Mannion

  13. 4 out of 5

    arg/machine

  14. 4 out of 5

    April Hernandez

  15. 5 out of 5

    Herman Schmitz

  16. 4 out of 5

    Constructionv4

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Haynes

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matías Aranguiz

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anonymous

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pam Rios

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristinn Friðriksson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo Rojo

  23. 4 out of 5

    Earl Biringer

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kat

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hunter

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shellie Gentle

  27. 4 out of 5

    فرزانه پیشرو

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  29. 5 out of 5

    Vince Fontaine

  30. 5 out of 5

    Diane

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