Philosophy 114: Fall 2016 – Instructor: Mr. Andrew Selich
Introduction to Logic: A Philosophical Critique of Film
Writing Assignment #5: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Length: Two Full Pages, Typed, Double-Spaced
Style: MLA Format (See guidelines in handbook)
Possible Points: 50 (Two questions, 25 points each)
Final Draft Due: Monday, November 21, 2016, on Canvas by 11:00pm
Assignment: Answer the two questions listed below to the best of your ability. Your answers to the questions should be thorough yet precise, using examples from the in-class discussions and the film to strengthen your responses. The final grade on this assignment will be determined by your ability to demonstrate a depth and understanding of the questions posed and by your ability to communicate that through your writing.
Mechanics: In order to be considered for grading, your paper must be at least Two full pages, typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font. You do not need to include outside sources. A Works Cited page is not needed. Good grammar, good spelling, and punctuation, while not specifically used to determine your final grade, are to be assumed. Keep this is mind: An unpolished work will not be an A paper.
Questions: The following questions are based on the philosophical questions raised by the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
- Using Plato’s The Allegory of the Cave as a starting point, discuss what information from the film that each character learned about life once they “walked into the light”. What was the point of the trip to Las Vegas? What was the real reason Raoul Duke wanted to go to Vegas? What was he searching for? Did they find ‘it’? For this answer, it would be best to think of Plato’s story as direct allegory meant to represent the trials and tribulations facing humanity and the ultimate struggle for knowledge. What knowledge about humanity does Duke learn and how does he come to terms with that revelation?
- Irish Empirical philosopher George Berkley was best known for his empiricist and idealist philosophy, which holds that everything save the spiritual exists only insofar as it is perceived by the senses (esse est percipi). What really exists in the film? Is the entire plot of the film a mere hallucination? Or can something that might not look or appear to exist come into existence through our perception of it? If our senses perceive it, does ‘it’ then exist? Use examples from the film while also acknowledging that somethings exist and continue to exist even if we are not currently perceiving them (art or abstract things for example).