Philosophy in Film

Elective Courses

CINE 200 - Philosophy in Film

PHIL 200
401 |Karen Detlefsen |MW 10-11am

This course serves as an introduction to philosophy by using film as the primary genre. Throughout the course, we will watch a number of classic and contemporary films (supplemented by brief readings) in order to identify and discuss a number of themes central to philosophy. Films we will watch may include (among others): AntzThe Battle of Algiers,Blade RunnerBoyz N the HoodGhost in the ShellI ConfessThe MatrixMementoLa Notte,RashomonThe Seventh SealTwelve Angry Men, and Twelve Monkeys. Philosophical themes we will address may include (among others): the nature of the self and one’s identity through time; the nature and moral worth of persons; human freedom, fate and responsibility; the relationship between the mind and the body; the nature of knowledge and perception; the metaphysics of time and of time travel; what constitutes a just war and just behavior within war; adjudicating the conflict between one’s private obligations to oneself and one’s professional or public obligations; the political relationship between the individual and the community (including the state); and philosophical issues of feminism and of race. We may also spend some time discussing, from a philosophical perspective, the nature of film itself.

last updated 06/23/2014 - 9:02am

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782