Liminal Space: A Philosophical Exploration of Personal Identity and Afterlife
For my thesis, I really wanted to combine my interest in the philosophical concepts of the afterlife and personal identity with dramatic writing and theatre. I decided to write a one act play that explores these concepts. The biggest questions that I wanted to address with this project are: what happens to us when we die and what constitutes an individual’s personal identity? I do not view it as my place to answer these questions, as these topics are quite subjective. Rather, I wanted to create something that sparked conversation around these universal topics. In terms of philosophy, my research largely revolved around the Mind/Body Problem; I tried to gather as many different perspectives on personal identity as I could and inject these beliefs into the framework of my characters. From a theatrical standpoint, my research consisted of learning as much as I could about dramatic structure, which boiled down to reading a lot of plays and books about plays. My “findings” were probably a bit different from the typical thesis. I learned that there are an infinite amount of perspectives on the universe and a lot of different ways to write plays. I did my very best to ask the questions I wanted to ask in a way that I believe to be engaging. Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinion on what they think is contained within the universe and what they think constitutes personal identity. What I did find, is that not everyone thinks about these sorts of questions on a daily basis. I don’t believe that you should be consumed by these sorts of questions, but I do think that it is important to at least know where you stand on these topics. My entire goal with this project was to pose the questions and to stimulate the conversation, while learning a bit more about playwriting in the process.
philosophy, playwriting, theatre, drama, Honors College
Trudell, C. (2021). Liminal space: A philosophical exploration of personal identity and afterlife (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.