Do not feel compelled to read the following quote in full. Or if you do, place a protective soft pillow on your keyboard first.
Descartes (1596-1650) offered, but did not endorse, the idea that the body is a ship and the self resides in the body the way a pilot resides in the ship. Hume (1711-1776) advanced the idea that there is no self, that what we call the self is in fact just a bundle of perceptions, feelings and ideas. Contemporary cognitive science combines these two ideas in a most awkward synthesis: We are the brain, which in turn is modeled not as a self, but as a vast army of little selves, or agencies, whose collective operations give rise to what looks, from the outside, like a single person or animal; but, so the “Awkward Synthesis” would have it, some of the events happening inside of us really are ours, they really are experienced, and this is because they happen in a special way or in a special place — in what Dennett has called the Cartesian Theater.
Inside Out begins with a question, posed by the movie’s narrator, Joy, who is an emotion living inside of Riley: Did you ever look at a baby or a person and ask yourself what’s going on in there? A good question, but the movie’s playful answer unfolds more like a textbook presentation of the Awkward Synthesis than by providing any insight into what it is like to be Riley or any other person.
Source: The Awkward Synthesis That Is ‘Inside Out’ : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
I haven’t seen Inside Out, and this review doesn’t really bias one way or another. On the other hand, it does instill a strong desire to avoid Berkeley.
Pixar should make a movie about a sad intellectual who has spent so much time reading about people’s brains that his heart has gone on permanent sabbatical, and the hilarious cartoon dog who brings them back together.
Then again, NPR’s movie reviews are almost universally awful, so I guess this is no departure.
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