Wednesday, February 25, 2015
H01 Midterm Group (Jeanette, Josh, and Austin) Jeanette's Part
My part in the group was spent analyzing the parallels between the movie Inception and the idea that the movie itself is a type of inception. Each member of Cobb’s team in the movie can be compared to a person in the moviemaking process; Cobb is the director. Arthur, who plans things and sets it into motion, is the producer. Saito would be considered the bankroller- he’s putting money in and stands to gain money from the heist. Ariadne designs the dream and could be compared to a screenwriter. Yusuf created the powerful sedative that will allow the team to delve down into so many layers of dreams: he provides special effects. Eames takes forms of other people in the target’s life, so we could consider him the actor. Fischer, the target, is the audience, the one the idea is trying to be incepted into.
Plato would have found this worrisome. Philosophers focus on ideas, where they come from, and the justifications of them. Could Inception, or any film in general, be planting an idea in our minds? After watching the film, are we more likely to pull off a heist? For this to be justified by Plato, there would have to be an instructive moral in the story. But, in the case of Inception, the protagonists are the ones committing the crime! We see them paying no price for their sin at the end, so Plato would find this very bad. Now, Plato may not worry that after watching it we will all go out and pull of an elaborate heist by forging our way into someone’s mind, but he may argue that it could influence us to invade the privacy of others.
We can compare Inception to Plato’s story of the cave by imagining ourselves as the cave dwellers. We are watching a film played to us on the screen and find ourselves getting caught up in and feeling true emotional feelings towards it. Plato believed that our world was already a smoke-screen to the true Forms that we should be paying attention to. Plato would say this is bad because we are drawing our attention away from the Forms and focusing on fairytales. Another problem Plato would see is that once the characters reach the deepness of the third level, they really aren’t there at all. It’s all just a perception in a mind. By delving deeper into these dream worlds, the characters are falling even farther away from the truth.
Aristotle would counter this by saying: By watching the film, you’re getting to do these actions vicariously. So, by feeling the emotions and excitement of a heist film, you’re becoming less likely to actually go out and do it. Most people today fall somewhere in the middle of the extremes of Plato and Aristotle. We may feel that we are just being harmlessly entertained by a story such as this. But, it is always good to analyze the thoughts and words that enter our minds so we don’t let little ideas sneak into our subconscious.