Unforgiven: Philosophy and Clear Mind

Topics: Philosophy, Socrates, Psychology Pages: 3 (996 words) Published: May 2, 2005
Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven
As human beings we constantly struggle with ourselves on whether our actions are virtuous or vice. Some of us choose to act in an ethical way when presented with a certain situation, while others choose to act on their desires and therefore act unjustly. This was the struggle that the character, William Munny, faced in the movie "Unforgiven." He was unable to control his desires, which resulted in his unethical actions. His actions support Socrates and Plato's theory that if we let our desires or our emotions drive us we will act unethically when faced with circumstances. In this paper I will show how Socrates and Plato's philosophy regarding our emotions and desires, explains William Munny's actions throughout the movie.

According to Plato's philosophy in order for human beings to have a healthy "soul," our view of the world should not be distorted by fears, insecurities, irrational anxieties, or overpowering desires. He also explains that our judgment should not be blinded by greed or self-interest. Having a healthy "soul" means having a clear mind and seeing things for what they actually are; this "soul" is the core of our personality. A person with a healthy "soul" will live a virtuous life by making ethical choices and controlling his or her desires.

William Munny was not that type of person, because his mind was clouded by desire and his "soul" was unhealthy. His desire was his purpose, and his purpose was to kill. Munny intended on acting unethically by killing for his own self-interest. This self-interest was to get the reward money in order to provide a better life for himself and his kids. Although at first he struggled with this decision, since he supposedly was no longer a killer, Munny let himself be controlled by his desire to get out of his financial situation and as a result acted in an unethical way. Once he acted on his decision to kill for money he showed no emotion, or remorse, which leads us to...

Bibliography: Eastwood, Clint. Unforgiven. Warner Studios, 1992.
Plato. Republic. "The Ring of Gyges." 359d-360c.
White, Thomas I. Discovering Philosophy. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1996.
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