Inception and Philosophy by David Kyle Johnson
Because It's Never Just a Dream

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A philosophical look at the movie Inception and its brilliant metaphysical puzzles

Is the top still spinning? Was it all a dream? In the world of Christopher Nolan's four-time Academy Award-winning movie, people can share one another's dreams and alter their beliefs and thoughts. Inception is a metaphysical heist film that raises more questions than it answers: Can we know what is real? Can you be held morally responsible for what you do in dreams? What is the nature of dreams, and what do they tell us about the boundaries of "self" and "other"? From Plato to Aristotle and from Descartes to Hume, Inception and Philosophy draws from important philosophical minds to shed new light on the movie's captivating themes, including the one that everyone talks about: did the top fall down (and does it even matter)? Explores the movie's key questions and themes, including how we can tell if we're dreaming or awake, how to make sense of a paradox, and whether or not inception is possibleGives new insights into the nature of free will, time, dreams, and the unconscious mindDiscusses different interpretations of the film, and whether or not philosophy can help shed light on which is the "right one"Deepens your understanding of the movie's multi-layered plot and dream-infiltrating characters, including Dom Cobb, Arthur, Mal, Ariadne, Eames, Saito, and Yusuf

An essential companion for every dedicated Inception fan, this book will enrich your experience of the Inception universe and its complex dreamscape.


About David Kyle Johnson

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David Kyle johnson is assistant professor of philosophy at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and the editor of Heroes and Philosophy.William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles, including House and Philosophy, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy, and Mad Men and Philosophy. To learn more about the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series, visit
Published October 31, 2011 by Wiley. 401 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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