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Course Description

Introduction to the study of film as a philosophical medium. Centers on film's capacity to bring out the ethical dimensions of the problem of distinguishing reality from illusion. A classic or contemporary film paired with a philosophical text each week.

According to Hamlet, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in philosophy. Maybe he was right. What Hamlet couldn't know, however, was that today the dreams of philosophy may be made real by movies. Take some recent movies such as The Matrix, Inception, or Memento. Or less recent ones, such as Blade Runner, 2001, or Clockwork Orange. They are all philosophical movies, that is, movies that bring out, and help us in understanding, some of the deepest problems that philosophers have been tackling: how can we be free if we are subject to the laws of nature? How can we be sure that the world we perceive as real is real? Is there such a thing as the right answer to ethical dilemmas? And, finally, what is that makes cinema an art - and perhaps the most relevant art nowadays.