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Sci-Phi: Philosophy from Socrates to Schwarzenegger
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Sci-Phi: Philosophy from Socrates to Schwarzenegger

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The Philosopher at the End of the Universe (second edition: Sci-Phi) demonstrates how anyone can grasp the basic concepts of philosophy while still holding a bucket of popcorn. Mark Rowlands makes philosophy utterly relevant to our everyday lives and reveals its most potent messages using nothing more than a little humor and the plotlines of some of the most spectacular, ...more
Paperback, Second, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 436)
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Amy Boetcher
Mar 02, 2008 Amy Boetcher rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: me
I would read a chapter, and then go rent the movie. It was totally fun, and I'd recommend it!
Aug 23, 2008 Alison rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Colin, Michael, Brandon
I think I could easily put this into my top five favorite books ever...or at least slot it among those that had the biggest impact on my life. I picked it up out of curiosity from the "new" section of our local library years ago. It seemed like a good fit; I love science fiction films, and I've long had a passing interest in philosophy, without actually being familiar with all the "greats."

The book is written is an easy, conversational style by current professor of Philosophy at the University
This is a Sci-Phi book as opposed to Sci-fi. The author uses Sci-fi movies to make philosophical points. While there are many doubts that film producers are trying to make philosophical points when making movies one can read a lot of social commentary into them. Rowlands claims Arnold Schwartzenegger is perhaps the greatest Austrian philosopher of the 20th century. That is kind of a stretch, but the characters he plays can be used to discuss philosophical issues. The mind-body problem is exempli ...more
I'm planning to use this for teaching a college class on philosophy and film. I think it will work pretty well. Rowlands does more than just summarize philosophical ideas (although he does that rather well). He also makes some intriguing points of his own, which makes this a lot more philosophically interesting. I particularly enjoy the chapters on The Matrix, Minority Report, Independence Day/Aliens, and Bladerunner. Oh, Rowlands also has a great sense of humor (or, since it's a very British ty ...more
A very interesting book for those who'd like to enjoy philosophy with some popcorn. If you loved those Sci-Fi movies of the last two decades, you're gonna love this one. Recommended!
Bernie Gourley
This is one of those books that’s designed to make tedious material palatable. Rowlands achieves this by conveying the concepts of erudite philosophers such as Plato, Nietzsche, Sartre, Laplace, Kant, Heraclitus, Wittgenstein, Hume, and Heidegger through the lens of popular speculative fiction movies (almost all Sci-fi.)

The book uses thirteen films as case studies to consider ten critical philosophical concepts (over ten chapters.) Virtually all sci-fi fans are likely to have seen most—if not a
Jesus Hills
I was first introduced to this book in an high school Science Fiction English class. We had to read snippets of the book to supplement the movies and books we were reading, and it was interesting to some extent but I was more interested in reading the actual books and watching the movies than paying attention the supplemental readings from this book. So to be honest the first time I as given this book to read I didn't really do it, and the readings I did do, I didn't really pay attention to. But ...more
When I was looking up pictures of this author (Mark Rowlands) I was overcome with the feeling that I'd seen him before. After a few minutes it suddenly dawned on me that he's a doppelgänger for the drunk pilot from Independance Day (a film that's discussed in the book nonetheless) and a drunk pilot is probably a fair, though probably a bit too harsh, of an analysis of his writing style at times in this book.

I stole this book off a friend thinking that it looked like it may be an easy and enterta
N Mursidi
Belajar Filsafat Sembari Nonton FIlm
(sumber: kedaulatan rakyat, Minggu tanggal tidak terlacak)

Judul buku : Menikmati Filsafat Melalui Film Science-Fiction
Penulis: Mark Rowlands
Penerbit : Mizan, Bandung
Cetakan : Pertama, 2004
Tebal buku : xxxix + 251 halaman

DALAM perdebatan filsafat, ada satu hal "krusial" yang selalu aktual dan jadi perdebatan tak kunjung usai; pertentangan dari dalam dan dari luar tentang cara manusia melihat dunia. Dari dalam, siapa pun akan melihat dia (manusia) adalah pusat d
drg Rifqie Al Haris
Nonton film itu bukan sekedar mengagumi spesial efek, aktor tampan dan cantik, atau cerita yang menyentuh. Percayalah, kalau anda masih mengharapakan penghiburan macam itu, berarti anda baru 50% nya meresakan manfaat hiburan dari film.

Mark Rowland menghadirkan esensi film yang menjadi pelengkap 50%-nya itu. Bahkan film-film terbesar dan paling terkenalpun ternyata memiliki pemikiran yang sangat luas tentang apa yang dibalik pesan cerita itu sendiri. Dalam buku ini, Rowland berhasil menggali sisi
Philosopher Rowlands, who likes to veg in front of a movie with a cold beer, also likes to write about the philosophical themes of recent films. I think you could always pick other (better) films on this sci-phi theme, besides Frankenstein, Hollow Man, the Sixth Day and all that, but that's just taste and Rowlands tends toward the popular and commercial, including a bizarre fanatic fandom for Arnie, even attributing to him the "philosophy" that his films illustrate. So you won't find Solaris her ...more
Better than I expected! Silly intro to a lot of different philosophical concepts using plots from Sci-Fi movies. Fun to read.
If you love action films (especially Arnie's) and didn't realise the deep philosophical questions being probed within, or just want to have a new perspective next time you rewatch an old favourite for the 36th time, then you should read this. From Total Recall to The Truman Show, via the Matrix (natch), Blade Runner, The Minority Report and others, explore the very nature of reality, self identity and justice.

Absolutely brilliant. I was forced to watch films I had never even previously considere
I like the premise, and sentences like these: "If Kevin Bacon attempts to kill his co-workers, is he doing anything wrong according to the social contract theory?"

Overall, though, this wasn't the greatest read. Not all of the film/theory pairings work well. I get the impression that this would make a fun lecture series for an "introduction to philosophy for non-majors" class, where there's a back-and-forth dialogue between the professor and his students.
João Lamas
The concept of this book is absolutely brilliant: to serve as an introduction to philosophy by way of popular science-fiction films. It does that an more, it binds old concepts with fresh, clearer examples that are simple to understand by every one. It's a doorway to a new world that is accessible to everyone.
A very entertaining, easy to read introduction to the most important philosophical questions with intelligible explanations. I also liked that the examples from the movies don't seem that far-fetched, compared with similar books on that topic that I've read. Recommended!
Jamie Nelson
The author builds a highly effective plot line. I enjoyed the story and readers who like character driven plots with lots of action will too. This sci-fi story draws the reader in as you come to care about the principal players. No spoilers from me.
This book is a great entre into "Sci-Phi" or how science fiction is based on some basic fundamental makes watching the movies discussed even more interesting!
I had to read this book for my Sci-Fi seminar. It had the potential to be an interesting book, but the author rambles on at times and it becomes a bit tiresome.
Nessar Ahmad
Superb introduction to philosophy through sci-fi or ''sci-phi'', want to read it again for the second and third time.
Sean Walsh
Great book deals with some relay big and complex philosophical questions in a fun and easy to understand way.
Well written book that explains many philosophical conundrums through well-known films.
Tom Latham
A look at major philosopical issues and how they relate to box office sci-fi movies.
Martin Baylis
loved it, going to buy it again, read it years ago
Wonderful book about SF films and philosophy.
Robert Day
Robert Day marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2015
Tracy E. Hieatt
Tracy E. Hieatt marked it as to-read
Mar 02, 2015
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Mark Rowlands was born in Newport, Wales and began his undergraduate degree at Manchester University in engineering before changing to philosophy. He took his doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University and has held various academic positions in philosophy in universities in Britain, Ireland and the US.

His best known work is the book The Philosopher and the Wolf about a decade of his life he sp
More about Mark Rowlands...
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“Além disso, somos individualmente o produto de forças que não escolhemos e que mal compreendemos. Não escolhemos nossos pais nem a época em que nascemos, e assim recebemos uma determinada herança genética sobre a qual não temos controle algum, mas que, até um ponto significante, tem controle sobre nós. Essa herança determina, em parte, as doenças a que somos suscetíveis e os limites de nossas capacidades intelectuais, atléticas e morais. Talvez não totalmente, mas o suficiente. Nascemos num ambiente que vai preencher o pouco espaço que sobra do que foi determinado geneticamente, um ambiente que, novamente, não escolhemos e sobre o qual mal temos controle, pelo menos durante nossos anos de formação. A maneira como somos e aquilo que fazemos são resultados de nossos genes e nosso ambiente, que, juntos, exercem em nós uma influência que compreendemos de forma bastante nebulosa. Era isso que os filósofos existencialistas, com Jean-Paul Sartre, por exemplo, queriam dizer quando afirmavam que somos jogados no mundo.” 1 likes
“Essas duas histórias - a do lado de dentro e a do lado de fora - podem ser contadas sobre cada um de nós. Ao chamá-las de 'histórias' não pretendo diminuí-las. Algumas são, apesar de tudo, verdadeiras. O problema é que temos muita dificuldade em ver como ambas as histórias que contamos sobre nós podem ser verdadeiras. O efeito da segunda história, aquela contada do lado de fora, parece uma drástica realocação do nosso papel na trama. Longe de sermos o personagem principal da história, estamos reduzidos a um figuração. A história do lado de dentro gira ao nosso redor, mas na outra história cada um de nós é apenas um simples personagem em meio a muitos outros, um personagem cuja entrada em cena é determinada por outras pessoas e que não tem nenhum controle real sobre a hora da sua saída do palco. As coisas que impulsinam nossas vidas, as coisas que queremos, nossos planos, projetos e metas - aquilo que podemos chamar de nossa motivação - são o resultado de forças que não controlamos. Aparentemente, nosso papel foi escrito por outra pessoa. Temos pouco controle sobre o seu conteúdo e não temos a menos ideia de qual é o seu sentido.

O choque das duas histórias é às vezes chamado de condição humana.”
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