Philosophy Through Film, 2nd edition / Edition 2

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Some of the world's best-loved films can be used as springboards for examining enduring philosophical questions. Philosophy Through Film provides guidance on how watch films with an eye for their philosophical content, helping students become familiar with key topics in all of the major areas in Western philosophy, and helping them to master the techniques of philosophical argumentation.

The perfect size and scope for a first course in philosophy, Philosophy Through Film assumes no prior knowledge of philosophy. It is excellent teaching resource and learning tool, introducing students to key topics and figures in philosophy through thematic chapters, each of which is linked to one or more "focus films" that illustrate a philosophical problem or topic.

Revised and expanded, the Second Edition features a new chapter on political philosophy, an introductory section explaining how to watch films philosophically, an appendix with primary readings, and the addition of five new focus films. Films examined in depth include:

The Matrix

Vanilla Sky

Hilary and Jackie


I, Robot

Minority Report

Crimes and Misdemeanors



The Seventh Seal

The Rapture

Leaving Las Vegas

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'How does one make philosophy exciting for general readers and students in introductory philosophy classes? Mary Litch has found the recipe. Combine the dramatic power of contemporary narrative films with incisive discussions of central philosophical issues, and the result is a compelling book for teaching and learning about philosophy. Each chapter clearly and engagingly introduces a key philosophical topic, then expertly demonstrates how a recent film illustrates a philosophical position, or else, through its dramatic conflicts, clarifies opposing alternatives. New to this edition are seventeen excerpts from primary sources, from Plato to Hume to Camus, making this book an excellent choice for introductory philosophy classes.'Carl Plantinga, Calvin College, USA

'Mary Litch's Philosophy Through Film was one of the first and remains one of the most useful textbooks for introducing students to philosophical concepts by way of film. Litch shows that popular films can be philosophical, in the sense that they raise philosophical concerns and illustrate in powerful ways the importance of these concerns. In addition to discussing several new films, the newest edition includes a selection of important classic readings in philosophy as complements to the film-based discussions of central topics, and offers an insightful and straightforward introduction to some of the many philosophical issues involved in considering film for its philosophical content.' Nathan Andersen, Eckerd College, USA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415997447
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/20/2010
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 770,154
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary M. Litch has taught philosophy at Yale University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is currently Director of Academic Technology and Digital Media at Chapman University, where she also teaches philosophy.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Skepticism 8

2 Relativism 38

3 Personal Identity 68

4 Artificial Intelligence 92

5 Free Will, Determinism, and Moral Responsibility 118

6 Ethics 143

7 Political Philosophy 167

8 The Problem of Evil 188

9 Existentialism 209

Notes 227

Appendix: Story Lines of Films by Elapsed Time 236

Readings from Primary Sources 264

"Allegory of the Cave" (from The Republic) Plato 266

"Meditation One" (from Mediations on First Philosophy Ren? Descartes 269

Excerpts from A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge George Berkeley 273

Excerpts from Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics Immanuel Kant 285

Excerpts from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Thomas Kukn 288

Excerpts from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke 292

Excerpts from A Treatise of Human Nature David Hume 298

Excerpts from "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" Alan Turing 305

Excerpts from "Minds, Brains, and Programs" John Searle 311

Excerpts from an Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding David Hume 317

Excerpts from "Existentialism is a Humanism " Jean-Paul Sartre 327

Excerpts from Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals Immanuel Kant 336

Excerpts from Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill 343

Excerpts from Leviathan Thomas Hobbes 348

Excerpts from On Liberty John Stuart Mill 355

Excerpts from On Free Choice of the Will Augustine 362

"The Myth of Sisyphus" Albert Camus 367

Index 370

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