Mary M. Litch Philosophy Through Film

ISBN 13: 9780415997430

Philosophy Through Film

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9780415997430: Philosophy Through Film

Some of the world’s best-loved films can be used as springboards for examining enduring philosophical questions. Philosophy Through Film provides guidance in how to 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 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 an 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 chapter 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
  • Memento
  • I, Robot
  • Minority Report
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Antz
  • Equilibrium
  • The Seventh Seal
  • The Rapture
  • Leaving Las Vegas

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About 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.


'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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Litch, Mary M.
Published by Routledge
ISBN 10: 0415997437 ISBN 13: 9780415997430
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