Tuesday, February 2, 2016

TOK 1: Day 56-57 (2/2-2/4) - Groundhog Day and TOK

In honor of Groundhog Day, we will watch the 1993 film, Groundhog Day.  The movie is about a weatherman, Phil, who gets stuck in a sort of time loop, having to relive the same day over and over again.

After viewing the film, we will discuss the questions below.  After the discussion, please write a well-organized reflective blog post in which you consider the ways that the film relates to TOK.

Mind-Body (Cartesian) Dualism

Watch this short video about Rene Descartes:

Now consider: Phil seems to be repeating the same day over and over again, but while his mind and memory remain intact from day-to-same-day, everything else in the universe (including his body and presumably his brain cells) seems to reset.

  1. How does this film relate to the dualism posited by Descartes? 
  2. To what extent do you go through your life understanding "yourself" (or your "self") to be somehow separate from your physical form? 
    • How is it that I can so easily say that I "will always be myself" when I know that every second I am actually physically changing? 
    • How can I reconcile this "unified" view of "myself" with my memory of myself as a small child?
    • Give examples of moments/situations where you act in a dualistic mode and/or a non-dualistic mode.
  3. How does this philosophical position highlight a tension surrounding knowledge-creation in the areas of knowledge? (I'm thinking specifically of Natural Sciences and Religious Knowledge Systems, though you may think of others.)

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