Philosophy Through Film (IDSEM-UG 1943)

From Casablanca and A Clockwork Orange to Sophie’s Choice and The Matrix, popular films offer surprisingly perceptive insights into complex philosophical concepts. This course begins by exploring the nature of philosophical analysis, argument, and the relevance of thought experiments.It will then draw on a wide range of films – along with a diverse selection of historical and contemporary thinkers – in order to explore many of the central areas of philosophy.Some of the areas under consideration will include perception (the nature of perceptual experience and the status of perceptual data, in particular how they relate to beliefs about, or knowledge of, the world), philosophy of mind (the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body), determinism (the philosophical idea that every event or state of affairs, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable and necessary consequence of antecedent states of affairs), and the philosophy of religion (the area of philosophy which considers questions about the existence of God and the nature of evil). By merging the cinematic and philosophical worlds, debates will also arise around ethics, free will, and the nature of time.Readings will be drawn from Aristotle, Anselm, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Locke, Nagel, Pascal, Putnam, and Williams, among others.

Interdisciplinary Seminars (Undergraduate)
4 credits – 15 Weeks