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DO YOU LOVE IDEAS?
Join us as we explore the philosophy behind Christopher Nolan’s film Inception. This philosophy course considers the theoretical presuppositions inherent in the film and the key themes of dreams as alternate states to reality, epistemology (how do you know?), and scepticism (do we know anything?).
Finally, we will consider the film’s final ‘cliff-hanger’ scene in which many of us want to know, did the top stop spinning?
Join us for a lively discussion on the philosophy of Inception where we consider these two questions:
How do you know you are not dreaming?
How do you know you have the right interpretation of Inception?
The aim of this course is to use the film Inception to develop your understanding of philosophy, including: epistemology, metaphysics, and axiology (knowledge, reality, and value-theory). The secondary aim is to improve your skill in complex puzzle-solving and to help you give consistent interpretations and arguments for your conclusions about the film’s plot.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
This course covers the following topics:
Anyone with an interest in philosophy. It should also interest anyone who wants to understand the philosophical presuppositions behind the plot. Finally, it will appeal to those who have watched Inception and wish to find ways to solve its riddles and puzzles
“Inception” by Heather Rivera, Philosophy Now, view here. Accessed 10 March 2019.
“The Philosophy of Dreaming” by Ben Springiest, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002, view here. Read Introduction and sections 1 to 3.
Wind, J.M., Dreams and Dreaming, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), view here. Read Introduction and sections, 1,2, & 5.
Perry, J., Bratman, M., & Fischer, J.M., (eds.) (2007) Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press.
1. Descartes, R. Meditations on First Philosophy, pages 136-160. Read Meditations I, II, IV, VI, and study questions at the end of this reading.
2. Grau, C. Bad Dreams, Evil Demons, and the Experience Machine: Philosophy and The Matrix. Pages 160 -167 including the study questions.
3. Nagel, T. The Absurd. Pages 755-762 including the study questions.
Grau, C. (2005). “Bad Dreams, Evil Demons, and the Experience Machine: Philosophy and The Matrix” In Philosophers Explore the Matrix. Oxford University Press.
Nagel, T. (1971). “The Absurd” Journal of Philosophy 68 (20): 716-727.
Nolan C. (2010). Inception: The Shooting Script. Insight Editions / Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.