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Inception Essay

1461 words - 6 pages

Inception makes us question the world we live in. When Saito proposes an offer on performing inception on a rival corporation, Cobb accepts this in hopes of returning back to his children. After performing the inception, Cobb does see his children’s faces once again. But, he comes to challenge their existence by spinning his totem. How do we tell whether if we are in a dream or in reality? Most people would answer this question by how they feel, but as Ariadne points out, “…I thought the dream space would be all about the visual, but it’s more about the feel of it” (Tullmann 78). Since we truly don’t know how to determine our reality over our dreams, it leads to a constant problem, epistemic angst. Tullmann looks at epistemic angst and the responses to it.
Epistemic angst is the feeling of anxiety caused by the uncertainty of anything. To see how we would respond to epistemic angst, we need to know how angst is formed. The skeptical argument concluded that Cobb may not know for certain that he has children. Being the main reason why Cobb wants to return to the states, his children are very important to him. Questioning his children’s existence would surely bring angst to Cobb. According to Descartes, epistemic angst is described as “…someone who is suddenly dropped into a deep whirlpool that tumbles him around so that he can neither stand on the bottom nor swim to the top” (Tullmann 79). The instability of our dreams also causes epistemic angst. When Ariadne questions how she got to the café, the whole dream explodes: vegetables fly apart, glass shatters, and buildings erupt. Cobb and Mal were able to tear down buildings behind them by just pushing down sand castles. Having to question reality with an unstable dream would certainly bring angst. You wouldn’t want projections of the subconscious to suddenly attack you. People would also think that experiences are meaningless because of epistemic angst. For instance, if Cobb’s children are just from his subconscious, then it really doesn’t matter if they are real or not. But, as Tullmann says, “the dream world is meaningful in some way…we may come to believe that our lives lack meaning…” Similarly, Cobb and his team believe that the dream state is meaningful, that’s how they are able to perform inception on Fischer. These consequences evoke different responses, shown through Mal, Cobb, the “basement dreamers”, and philosophers.
One response to epistemic angst, used by philosophers, is to eliminate it. Descartes is widely known for his attempts at eliminating epistemic doubt with his Mediations. Descartes has found a way to prove without a doubt that he is not dreaming or being deceived. He concluded, “The physical world must exist and that it was, like himself, created by God” (Tullmann 80). But this solution doesn’t apply to Inception. In Inception, humans create the dreams in which Cobb and his team enters, not God. Descartes solution to eliminating skepticism relies on the existence of God, which...

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