Sunday, May 1, 2011

Personal Identity as Portrayed through Big Fish

Throughout the semester we have explored the consequences of Cartesian dualism. One consideration is whether the mind or the body is a greater component of personal identity. In the movie Big Fish, the character Edward Bloom cannot be separated from the stories he tells, which causes his son to question Edward's true identity. Edward goes through many of the same experiences as other people, but his mind creates a new world that only has a slight basis in reality.

Locke and Leibniz have different views about what constitutes reality. Locke believes that physical events aren't necessarily correlated with mental events, while Leibniz believes the opposite. Big Fish highlights these arguments through the perspectives of Edward and his son, Will. Will believes that Edward has a fake identity because only his stories are visible, while Edward believes that his stories are a better representation of his identity than actual experiences.

Our presentation will investigate the nature of identity through the film Big Fish and the arguments of Locke and Leibniz.

Genevieve Vaive & Andrea Gallegos

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