Moral Theory at the Movies: An Introduction to Ethics

Overview

Moral Theory at the Movies provides students with a wonderfully approachable introduction to ethics. The book incorporates film summaries and study questions to draw students into ethical theory and then pairs them with classical philosophical texts. The students see how moral theories, dilemmas, and questions are represented in the given films and learn to apply these theories to the world they live in. There are 36 films and a dozen readings including: Thank you for Smoking, Plato’s Gorgias, John Start Mill’s ...

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Moral Theory at the Movies: An Introduction to Ethics

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Overview

Moral Theory at the Movies provides students with a wonderfully approachable introduction to ethics. The book incorporates film summaries and study questions to draw students into ethical theory and then pairs them with classical philosophical texts. The students see how moral theories, dilemmas, and questions are represented in the given films and learn to apply these theories to the world they live in. There are 36 films and a dozen readings including: Thank you for Smoking, Plato’s Gorgias, John Start Mill’s Utilitarianism, Hotel Rwanda, Plato’s Republic, and Horton Hears a Who. Topics cover a wide variety of ethical theories including, ethical subjectivism, moral relativism, ethical theory, and virtue ethics. Moral Theory at the Movies will appeal to students and help them think about how philosophy is relevant today.

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Editorial Reviews

Metapsychology Online Reviews
Moral Theory at the Movies is a textbook aimed at college students. And it's a good one. But any intelligent adult interested in learning more about what philosophers are doing in the realm of moral theory these days would be well served with this book.
James B. South
Moral Theory at the Moviesis a refreshing and thorough look at the subject of ethics. The well-chosen readings and movies will provoke students to engageconstructivelywith the material and the author's discussions and explanations are clear and appealing. The study questions provided should ensure a high level of in-class discussion. In short, this is a first-rate text for introductory ethical theory courses.
William Irwin
If your ethics course needs a makeover, this book is the way to do it. Clearly written and pedagogically plotted, Moral Theory at the Movies brings classic texts of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and company into dialogue with contemporary films from Spielberg, Allen, Scorsese, and company. Two thumbs up.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742547872
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/16/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Kowalski is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Manitowoc.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Rhetoric, Philosophy, and Moral Reasoning
Featured Film: Thank You for Smoking (2005)
1.1 Thinking through the Movie
1.2 Historical Setting: Plato, Gorgias (excerpt)
1.3 Discussion and Analysis
1.4 Two Additional Films: Minority Report (2002) and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)
1.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
PART I: Meta-ethics
Chapter 2: Simple Ethical Subjectivism
Featured Film: Match Point (2006)
2.1 Thinking through the Movie
2.2 Historical Setting: David Hume, “Ethics and Sentiment”
2.3 Discussion and Analysis
2.4 Two Additional Films: The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) and The Shape of Things (2003)
2.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 3: Moral Relativism
Featured Film: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
3.1 Thinking through the Movie
3.2 Historical Setting: William Sumner, “Folkways”
3.3 Discussion and Analysis
3.4 Two Additional Films: The Joy Luck Club (1993) and Do the Right Thing (1989)
3.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 4: Divine Command Theory
Featured Film: Frailty (2001)
4.1 Thinking through the Movie
4.2 Historical Setting: Plato, Euthyphro
4.3 Discussion and Analysis
4.4 Two Additional Films: Evan Almighty (2007) and Boondock Saints (1999)
4.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 5: Ethical Objectivism
Featured Film: The Cider House Rules (1999)
5.1 Thinking through the Movie
5.2 Historical Setting: Thomas Reid, “Of the First Principles of Morals”
5.3 Discussion and Analysis
5.4 Two Additional Films: Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Schindler’s List (1993)
5.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
PART II: What Ought I to Do?
Chapter 6: Biology, Psychology, and Ethical Theory
Featured Film: Cast Away (2000)
6.1 Thinking through the Movie
6.2 Historical Setting: Aquinas, Summa (excerpt)
6.3 Discussion and Analysis
6.4 Two Additional Films: Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and Spiderman 2 (2004)
6.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 7: Utilitarianism
Featured Film: Extreme Measures (1996)
7.1 Thinking through the Movie
7.2 Historical Setting: John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (excerpt)
7.3 Discussion and Analysis
7.4 Two Additional Films: Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Eternal Sunshine…Spotless Mind (2004)
7.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 8: Kant and Respect for Persons Ethics
Featured Film: Horton Hears a Who (2007)
8.1 Thinking through the Movie
8.2 Historical Setting: Immanuel Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals (excerpt)
8.3 Discussion and Analysis
8.4 Two Additional Films: 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and Amistad (1997)
8.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 9: Social Contract Theory: Hobbes, Locke, and Rawls
Featured Film: V for Vendetta (2005)
9.1 Thinking through the Movie
9.2 Historical Setting: Hobbes, Leviathan (excerpt)
9.3 Discussion and Analysis
9.4 Two Additional Films: Lord of the Flies (1990) and Serenity (2005)
9.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
PART III: How Ought I to Be?
Chapter 10: Aristotle and Virtue Ethics
Featured Film: Groundhog Day (1993)
10.1 Thinking through the Movie
10.2 Historical Setting: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (excerpt)
10.3 Discussion and Analysis
10.4 Two Additional Films: The Last Samurai (2003) and As Good as It Gets (1998)
10.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 11: Care and Friendship
Featured Film: Vera Drake (2004)
11.1 Thinking through the Movie
11.2 Historical Setting: Nel Noddings, Caring (excerpt)
11.3 Discussion and Analysis
11.4 Two Additional Films: The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2007) and Life Is Beautiful (1998)
11.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies
Chapter 12: Plato and Being Good
Featured Film: The Emperor’s Club (2003)
12.1 Thinking through the Movie
12.2 Historical Setting: Plato, Republic (excerpt)
12.3 Discussion and Analysis
12.4 Two Additional Films: Goodfellas (1990) and The Man without a Face (1993)
12.5 Reviewing through the Three Movies

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