Jun 24, 2015

Wed Review (Dash Shaw - Doctors)


This is a premise that has always fascinated me. I'm surprised we don't see it done more often. The premise is that we don't know much about the external world; we don't know if we can trust our senses. In this case a woman, unbeknownst to her, dies but continues her life in her own consciousness. This all happens while she's still on the operating table with doctors trying to revive her.

After she's unsure what reality really is. The fake existence she created unconsciously was better than her actual reality. The fact that it was fake is important only to the extent that her actual reality being real is of no significance. She would rather return to the fantasy that she thought was real. But the idea that a fantasy is better the reality makes all of existence seem unimportant and meaningless.

The book was like a fictional narrative of David Hume's philosophy - see especially his chapter on the self in the Human Understanding book. In that chapter Hume gets lost when trying to figure out what it means to say 'I'. How can 'I' say 'I' when I can't even trust my own senses? Hume finds solace in the idea that we all sort of revert to an uncritical acceptance of our senses; after we finish reading his book we will revert to our unbreakable faith that 'I' am 'I' and that I exist and that there is also an external world divorced from my consciousness (if I were to cease my existence, it would still be there).

In this book we are faced with the situation of not being able to simply go back to our faith in the common sense notion of reality.

This book is a more speculative and interesting take on this type of thing that say The Matrix and other movies that I've seen. For example, why doesn't Neo begin to doubt the reality of the 'real world' when he wakes up from the matrix? This story explores those doubts as well as the psychological horrors that would occur in absolute skepticism.

This is a comic that I think people like Camus and Sartre would enjoy.

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