Lamar Burgess- Maggie Mills

In Minority Report, Director Lamar Burgess has the most knowledge of his reality. Lamar begins the movie as John Anderton’s biggest ally. When Danny Witwer is investigating PreCrime, Lamar supports John and the system of PreCrime that John has created. John confides in Lamar when he discovers that Agatha’s vision of the murder of Ann Lively is missing. It is later revealed that Lamar is the one who killed Ann, but at this point he tells John to let it go. Lamar is dependent on no one further investigating this death. John’s discovery of Agatha’s missing vision is what Descartes would call his Archimedean point. John is sure of this piece of information and builds upon it to find out the truth. Until John reveals Lamar’s crime, Lamar continues to try to cover it up. When Witwer comes to Lamar having figured out that someone who works within pre0crime must have framed John for the murder of Leo Crow, Lamar tells Witwer that it was him. At this point, Lamar is no longer the only one to know what he has done. However, by killing Witwer, Lamar ensures that this information will not spread anymore. According to James, “truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system” (James, 95). Until anyone else is able to prove that Lamar has framed John or that Lamar was the one who killed Ann Lively, everyone continues to believe that Lamar is a good man. Without any proof otherwise, Lamar’s goodness is what is accepted as truth.

It becomes clear that Lamar killed Ann Lively so that Agatha could be used as a Precog and PreCrime could be successful. Each of Lamar’s actions had a purpose, and that was the end goal of his program being successful. According to Spinoza, everything has an end goal. Spinoza says that there is no end goal or purpose in nature, but humans can produce things that have a purpose (Spinoza, Ethics I Appendix). This is exactly what Lamar did throughout the movie as he deceived each of the other characters. Lamar killed Ann Lively and set up John so that PreCrime could continue under his power and spread nationwide. His plan involved murder and deception, all for the end goal of the continuation of the PreCrime department. Lamar created the end goal, but it was not something that would happen on its own. He had to execute this plan in order to create the end goal. He used his connections within the PreCrime department to do all of this and ultimately used the trust that he had established to get away with his plan. Spinoza says, “it is of the first importance to men to establish close relationships and to bind themselves together with such ties as may more effectively unite them into one body” (Spinoza, Ethics IV Appendix). Instead of creating a more stable system, Lamar used his connections to people such as Danny Witwer and John Anderton to mislead them and get away with his own crimes. However without these connections, he would have never been in the position to manipulate the PreCrime department.


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