As Deep As It Gets: Movies and Metaphysics


By Randall E. Auxier

A lot of thought goes into making Hollywood films and television series. The best artists of the twentieth century chose this medium over the arts they would have practiced in previous centuries –the painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, actors, and most of all the director, the master auteur, packed up their gear and went west. As time has gone on, television and movie-making   converged into one huge canvas for all that creative thinking. Let’s think   about some of the best things that got thunk in the last hundred years, see if we can uncover the deeper layers of that thinking and sling a little philosophy at the screen.

SKU: 9781637700082 Categories: ,


As Deep as It Gets: Movies and Metaphysics is a witty and light-hearted introduction to philosophy through a deep study of some well-known movies and TV shows: Pulp Fiction, South Park, The Princess Bride, The Wizard of Oz, Super 8, The Twilight Zone, House of Cards, Inception, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, His Dark Materials, Sergio Leone’s westerns, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat.

All the major branches of philosophy are covered, including aesthetics, political philosophy, metaphysics, and the theory of knowledge. The author’s approach is “Continental,” with some American idealism and process philosophy in support. The emphasis is on the primacy of time as a key to interpreting human experience. In that regard, existentialism, phenomenology, and process philosophy are better guides to thinking about time than the more popular approaches that depend on language analysis.

“As Deep As It Gets: Movies and Metaphysics belongs not just in media studies libraries and classrooms, but in collections strong in modern philosophy, using popular current movies and TV shows to explore philosophical insights. Auxier’s discussion of movies goes beyond plot and character outlines to consider the deeper meanings and inspections in essays which go beyond education to invite discussion and debate. From political metaphors in movies to enlightening surveys of ethics, religion, and connections between modern media and ancient philosophers, Auxier draws seemingly disparate subjects together in a moving survey that is surprisingly lively for its title and subject. This will make As Deep As It Gets attractive to much more than a singular audience of modern-day philosophy students.”

The Bookwatch: September 2022: Midwest Book Review

Professor Randall E. Auxier says: “Philosophizing involves telling stories about life that are art, and making up stories that aren’t life but provide a contrast to it. I want readers to add to what I see, and to take up interpretations contrary to mine. A healthy discussion is good for everybody.”

Additional information

Weight 1.75 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 9 in


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