A.I. Film Analysis

1586 words - 6 pages

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence is a Steven Spielberg science fiction drama film, which conveys the story of a younger generation robot, David, who yearns for his human mother’s love. David’s character stimulates the mind-body question. What is the connection between our “minds” and our bodies?
It is apparent that we are personified entities, but also, that we embrace “more” than just our bodies. “Human persons are physical, embodied beings and an important feature of God’s intended design for human life” (Cortez, 70). But, “human persons have an ‘inner’ dimension that is just as important as the ‘outer’ embodiment” (Cortez, 71). The “inner” element cannot be wholly explained by the “outer” embodiment, but it does give rise to inimitable facets of the human mental life such as human dignity and personal identity.
The mind-body problem entails two theories, dualism and physicalism. Dualism contends that distinct mental and physical realms exist and they both must be taken into account. Its counterpart (weak) physicalism views the human as being completely bodily and physical, encompassing no non-physical, or spiritual, substances. It recognizes that there are “higher level” properties that cannot be explained in physical terms, but they are caused by a physical event. Within dualism and physicalism lie sub-theories that make specific the philosophies behind these fundamental beliefs. Spielberg’s film expresses the ideas of emergent physicalism through David, his journey to becoming a “real” boy, and his remaining eternally hopeful that he will receive the love of the one whom not only created his ability to love, but also the one whom he loves the most.
Mechas are a new class of robots designed during the 22nd century in response to detrimental environment occurrences. Food shortages and limited housing resulted in an increased need for Mechas. They could assist in achieving their host human’s needs and wants, requiring no food, no sleep, and minimal maintenance. Mechas have the appearance of real living persons and have the capacity of emulating most human feelings and thoughts. Thus, seeming entirely human, but they are not. Their makings are not of flesh or blood. Instead, they are android machines, strictly physical and having no “inner” properties.
Mechas can feel pain, pleasure, and other physical sensations but are unable to fully cognize emotional feelings. When the stabbing of the hand is inflicted upon the Mecha secretary of Dr. Hobby she is asked how it made her feel. She becomes puzzled by the question and Dr. Hobby rephrases it, “What did I do to your feelings?” Her response is, “You did it to my hand.” There is no sense of hate, happiness, regret, or love that occupy a Mecha’s mentality. The rendition of love, for example, is “first [the] widening [of the] eyes a little bit and [the] quickening [of] breath a little and [the] warming [of] skin and touching” (A.I.). Their purpose is of specificity that pertains only to the...

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