The Fighting Mongoose

Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -Ambrose Bierce
A group weblog by the graduate philosophy students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Over at the Garden of Forking Paths, there's a post about movies that touch on themes in action theory.

I thought about the possibility of teaching a philosophy 101 class using just movies. Let's say you were planning the curriculum for such a class. Which movies do you think would best illustrate basic themes and subthemes in ethics, metaphysics and epistemology?

You don't have to provide a complete list. Any suggestion to get the ball rolling will be fine.


At 11:02 AM, Blogger Mark Arciaga said...

At Ithaca College, Michael McKenna taught a course (200-level) that was basically an intro to philosophy using film and text. There was one film a week to be viewed out of class and discussed in class, with the readings intended to motivate the discussion philosophically. I don't know what precisely he used but I think at least the following: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" "The Matrix" "Sophie's Choice" "Minority Report" "A Clockwork Orange" and "Bladerunner." I personally love the idea since it really gives the students something to be interested in and excellent discussion topics.

At 8:14 PM, Blogger James Lee said...

How do you think he used those movies? Better yet, how would you use those movies? What concepts would be illustrated by those films?

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

Adaptation, Momento.

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Mark Arciaga said...

Memento is surely a good choice...I'm not sure why Adaptation is.

Here's some more (look 'em up):
2001: A Space Odyssey
Logan's Run

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Chad Van Schoelandt said...

I would use Gattaca for a fun ethics discussion. I disagree with the moral message of Gattaca, but if gives an amusing slippery slope argument. There are interesting questions about what sorts of designer baby procedures are moral, and how the society ought to respond when these procedures become common.

Is the problem with the Gattaca world that they design their babies, or that they have a stupid policy of discrimination? I'll suggest that the policy of discrimination is separable from the technology, and thus tells us nothing of the morality of baby design, but you could probably get considerable interesting discussion about it.

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Miguel Ruiz is known as a nagual, or shaman, of the Toltec tradition. The Toltecs were an ancient group of scientists and artists that was formed to explore and preserve the practices and spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones. It is not a religion, but a way of life that embraces spirit and honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Toltec wisdom arises from the same essential unity of truth as other sacred esoteric traditions that are found all over the world.

At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twelve Monkeys is a philosophically sound treatment of time travel.


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