Philosophy and Film (

Philosophy and Film (
This course will examine a variety of philosophical arguments through the medium of film. It will consist of video lectures, readings, and lively discussion. Students will engage a wide range of exciting thinkers, issues, and movies with the goal of understanding both how our world is and how we want it to be.

This class will engage some of the central questions surrounding the human experience through the medium of film. We will seek to understand some of the major ideas and thinkers in Western thought over a period of roughly three thousand years. We will deal with a great variety of subjects that any intelligent human being would care about, engaging these topics with a critical, analytical, and rational approach. This course is not about supplying facile answers to questions like “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Rather, this course is about learning to think for yourself—while watching good movies. Together, we will try our best to understand the world around us through these great thinkers and films.

Topics, Thinkers, and Films over six modules:

Inception: The Experience Machine and Free Will – Robert Nozick and Galen Strawson

The Birds: Psychology and Desire – Sigmund Freud

Match Point: Ethical Subjectivism and Moral Luck – David Hume and Thomas Nagel

District 9: People aren’t Objects: The Categorical Imperative – Immanuel Kant

The Hunger Games: Exploitation and Alienation – Karl Marx

Groundhog Day­: Happiness and Friendship– Aristotle

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