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How does Yann Martel use Philosophy to draw meaning from an extract of 'The Life Of Pie'.

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Introduction

How does Yann Martel use Philosophy to draw meaning from an extract of 'The Life Of Pie' Yann Martel's, 'The Life Of Pi' is a tale that serves to jostle our perception of our world, and question the means by which we base our view of everyday customs. In the famous words of Mr David Hume, 'Custom is the great guide of human life,' without these customs that we come to accept as truths, our world becomes a dangerous and intimidating place. This is why in the extract, the reporters attempt to falsify the possibility of a carnivorous Island because it challenges their already unsure perception of the world to the extreme. Within the extract starting on p.294, Pi provokes the rationalist attitude of the reporters to be tested to the limit. ...read more.

Middle

Moreover, we refuse to look outside our phenomenal world because of this, and make judgements upon prior learned experience or reason. These experiences are then turned into ideas. The point of Pi's persistence with the argument is to put emphasis upon the natural assumption of induction that we take to draw logical conclusions about the world. Nevertheless, Philosophers like David Hume also take this position in stating that all knowledge comes from our experience. He believes that any idea can be reduced to some prior experience provided by our senses. Like Pi, Hume is lead to believe that humans think they know a huge amount more of the world than is justified. He feels that induction is not an acceptable method of argument. Pi agrees and implies that if we kept on assuming thing by induction, the discoveries of Copernicus and Darwin would never have been interpreted as truth In this case, Pi being the Philosopher, and the reporters being the 'other' humans. ...read more.

Conclusion

Apparently the reality is independent of our observations. I agree with the ideas of these Philosophers but think that when Pi is talking of the carnivorous Island he is pointing to the issue of faith. If you briefed a human without any idea of religion about a given faith, they would surely laugh in your face and deem your proposition impossible. The point is that we DO have faith, and we do have beliefs. The point that Pi is trying to make with his story of the carnivorous Island is that in the face of his more believable yet intentionally more macabre story, the carnivorous Island is deemed a more appealing alternative. Like life really, In the face of it, people turn to religion, because it is the more appealing and gratifying alternative. Pi points out that no matter what our sense experience tells us initially, it is our nature to ultimately go for the God option, no matter how incoherent it my seem. ...read more.

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