Practicing philosophical pluralism with "Forrest Gump" A speech-act body-mind analysis

Robert L Oropeza, University of Texas at El Paso


This essay looks at three different types of philosophy: Pragmatism and communication, phenomenology and Zen Buddhism. I discuss these philosophies using the film, Forrest Gump as a guide to get through the convoluted ideas and make the concepts easier to understand. We first wade through the waters of analytical philosophy and the language game in communication. We discuss speaker's intention in meaning according to Paul Grice and Forrest's problems with the implicatures of language. In the second chapter I focus on the phenomenology of the characters as well as the perspective of the person viewing the film. How do we experience phenomenon in the world? How can one be aware of their "lived world? I then examine the ego of the individual and how it contributes to suffering. Finally I consider the cause of suffering and, in the footsteps of Forrest, offer a way to cease the suffering. The essay examines questions from the film and the individual; "What makes Forrest different from everybody else and what does he mean by, "Stupid is as stupid does?" Is there such thing as an ego? And how is life like a box of chocolates?

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Recommended Citation

Oropeza, Robert L, "Practicing philosophical pluralism with "Forrest Gump" A speech-act body-mind analysis" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1557779.