Could a Heptapod Act? Language and Agency in Arrival

Film and Philosophy 23:48-68 (2019)
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Abstract
Arrival offers a useful thought experiment in the philosophy of mind and language. Assessing human linguists' interpretive efforts to understand the alien heptapod form of life in both the movie and the novella from which it was adapted (Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life”) teach us how our understanding of selfhood shapes our conception of agency. Arrival’s reflexive commentary on the cinematic experience is also an argument for the value of learning to communicate in cinematic language.
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Archival date: 2019-02-06
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