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Understanding LovePhilosophy, Film, and Fiction$
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Susan Wolf and Christopher Grau

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195384512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384512.001.0001

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Love, Loss, and Identity in Solaris

Love, Loss, and Identity in Solaris

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 Love, Loss, and Identity in Solaris
Source:
Understanding Love
Author(s):

Christopher Grau

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195384512.003.0005

The science fiction premise of the 2002 film Solaris allows director Steven Soderbergh to tell a compelling and distinctly philosophical love story. The “visitors” that appear to the characters in the film present viewers with a vivid thought experiment, and the film naturally prods the audience to dwell on the following possibility: If confronted with a duplicate (or near duplicate) of a loved one, what would one’s response be? What should one’s response be? The tension raised by such a far-fetched situation reflects a tension that exists in real life: that between an attraction to qualities possessed by a person and an attachment to the person in a manner that transcends such an attraction to qualities. This essay explores these tensions and the other philosophical issues raised by the film regarding the nature of love and personal identity.

Keywords:   love, Solaris, personal identity

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