Show Book List

Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Listology
The Trades
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Mark Rowlands

The philosopher at the end of the universe

I believe that science fiction has a lot to offer in making philosophical ideas more easily understood. The philosopher at the end of the universe is based on this idea. Mark Rowlands uses science fiction films to illustrate various ideas in philosophy, for instance The Matrix for Descartes thoughts about what is real. Some of it is a bit stretched, for instance the chapter on Nietzshe seems to suggest that Darth Vader should have subsumed his evil and written poetry instead. However, if you like watching sci-fi films then the book provides a useful link to ideas from philosophy .

Rowlands claims that the violent nature of a lot of the films makes them better for illustrating the concepts, and he recommends that you watch the films before reading the book. I didn't agree with either of these. I think he just likes watching this sort of film, and that Star Trek episodes would be as good, if not better. Also I wasn't convinced that he did a particularly good job of making philosophical ideas more accessible. It seemed to be the usual sort of philosophy with 'entertainment breaks' rather than combining the philosophy and discussion about the films into a consistent whole

Amazon.com info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0091889219
Salesrank: 8877247
Weight:0.71 lbs
Published: 2003 Ebury Press
Marketplace:New from $20.00:Used from $2.97
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0091889219
Salesrank: 1853799
Weight:0.71 lbs
Published: 2003 Ebury Press
Marketplace:New from £91.49:Used from £0.39
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0091889219
Salesrank: 3851487
Weight:0.71 lbs
Published: 2003 Ebury Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 75.56:Used from CDN$ 2.78
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
There is a widespread reawakening of interest in philosophy, however, many people are put off by a belief that it is difficult to understand. This entertaining but educational book shatters that myth by showing, for example, that if you understand Keanu Reeves smash, "The Matrix", you can understand Descartes. In "The Matrix", the world human beings seem to inhabit is not real, but a computer-generated illusion. This idea is essentially Descartes: what can we know? How do we know that everything is not really a dream? Or how do we know we're not being constantly deceived by an evil genius? This is just the beginning and amongst other things you'll learn about: materialism and dualism fom the Terminator films - "Egoism" from "The Invisible Man". Read this book and become be a veritable Jedi master of philosophy!