Memory and Morals in Memento: Hume at the Movies
35 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2007
Date Written: December 2007
In the hopes of directing students to the great philosophic texts through the entertainment fare they consume, this article analyzes the philosophic significance of Memento, a 2000 film directed by Christopher Nolan. We understand the film as a thought experiment in which memory capacity is partially removed from the main character, Leonard Shelby. The experiment is run with Leonard's thoughts and behavior according with Hume's epistemology and cognitive psychology. As a result, Memento ends up illustrating Hume's positions on personal identity, the character of justice, and the intellectual limitations of the human mind.
Keywords: memory, morals, hume, film, philosophy, justice, personal identity, self, skepticism
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