Blessed Are the Forgetful: Utilitarianism and Remarriage in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Film and Philosophy 21:74-90 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper considers two different kinds of philosophical interpretations of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. On the one hand, Eternal Sunshine as a thought experiment that can function as an argument against utilitarianism. On the other hand, Eternal Sunshine as an instance of the genre of the remarriage comedy. I will argue that these two kinds of interpretations are in conflict. More specifically, Eternal Sunshine, understood as a comedy of remarriage, cannot function as an argument against utilitarianism, at least in the sense specified by Grau and Wartenberg. Finally, I will suggest a different way in which Eternal Sunshine, understood as a comedy of remarriage, might function as an argument against utilitarianism.

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Enrico Terrone
Università degli Studi di Genova

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