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PHI 105 — Philosophy and Film

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 28—Dec 7
Time: 6:30—9:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 11
Unit(s): 2 Units
Tuition: $435
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 23
On campus
6:30—9:00 pm
Sep 28—Dec 7
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 11
2 Units
Please Note: No class on November 23
The topics of some of the greatest philosophers—the nature of reality, the limits to knowledge, the origin of good and evil, the problem of power—are also the themes of some of the best films. This course will explore philosophical ideas and problems as they arise in various films by pairing texts with films. A few examples: Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner with Descartes and Donald Davidson for and against skepticism regarding the reliability of our beliefs about the external world; Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange with Hobbes versus Rousseau on human nature and the role of government; Joseph Losey’s The Servant with Hegel’s dialectic of master and slave; Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo with Plato and Martha Nussbaum on love. We’ll also devote some time to the philosophy of film, i.e., theories of the nature of film as an art form and film criticism as a mode of interpretation. By the end of the course, students will have been introduced to a wide range of topics in epistemology and philosophy of mind, metaphysics, theology, perception, ethical and political philosophy, and aesthetics, as well as gained insights into some very good films.

Frederick M. Dolan, Professor of Humanities, California College of the Arts; Professor of Rhetoric, Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Frederick M. Dolan’s interests include aesthetics, meta-physics, philosophy of mind, and moral and political philosophy, in particular the relationship of modern political theory to the philosophical tradition and its critics (especially Nietzsche and Heidegger). He received a PhD from Princeton.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks