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Saturday, April 27 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
2. Bad Faith and The Big Lebowski

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Bad Faith and The Big Lebowski
Leah Bender
Faculty mentor: Aron Edidin
New College of Florida

Here I explore Sartre's concepts of freedom and responsibility (from his 1943 book Being and Nothingness) as they are evident in the Coen brother’s 1998 classic film The Big Lebowski. I examine the actions and interactions of the two Lebowskis (the 'big' Lebowski and The Dude) in order to demonstrate that--although they share the same surname--the two men approach freedom and responsibility in markedly different ways. Despite their apparent differences (viz., that the Dude prefers to ‘abide’ by life’s misfortunes while the big Lebowski considers himself a self-made man), I also explain the ways in which both of the Lebowskis--along with many of the other characters encountered in the film--ultimately find themselves in what Sartre calls 'bad faith'; i.e., the state of individuals who deny the reality of being essentially free, and, consequently, deny any of the responsibility that this entails.

Leah Bender is a 3rd year philosophy student at New College of Florida, originally hailing from Washington DC. She is particularly interested in philosophy of mind and intends to write her senior thesis on consciousness and artificial intelligence. 


Saturday April 27, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
HSB 202