Free Will and Groundhog Day Essay

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Jared Wilson PHI-1101 February 25th 2013 Groundhog Day and Free Will Rough Draft The motion picture "Groundhog Day" Phil (starts out with a severe case of egoism and ultimitley becomes an altruist) Rita (Phil's love interest and producer, rebukes his advances, but finally gives in ) Larry (Phil's camera man, thinks Phil is a primadonna) The Towns Folk of Punxsutawney, Pa (All have different reactions and interactions with Phil) In a way, this film touches on several philosophical topics, including free will and fatalism. Nietzsche once said of fatalism : "To endure the idea of recurrence one needs: freedom from morality; new means against the fact of pain (pain conceived as a tool, as the father of pleasure. . .); the enjoyment of all kinds of uncertainty, experimentalism, as a counterweight to this extreme fatalism; abolition of the concept of necessity; abolition of the “will”; abolition of “knowledge-in-itself.” (Nietzsche, 1888) He also tries to use this unique situation to his advantage and win over Rita. In the midst of this unusual cosmic quandary, Phil wonders aloud "What if there were no tomorrow?" In a morbid curiosity to see how far this "never-ending day" can actually go, Phil attempts suicide in several different ways; he steps in front of a fast moving truck, throws himself off the highest building in the town, and even commits suicide by electrocuting himself in the bathtub of his bed and breakfast. This shows the tendency towards having a death wish. However whenever he is "successful" in his attempts at suicide, he is sent back to his room to reawaken and live the day over, with no other person in the town having any recollection of the events of the previous "day" This idea raises the concept of reality being all in Phil's head. After one of his suicide attempts, Rita and Larry identify his body at the morgue, before we see Phil awaken

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