Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy is an accessible and thought-provoking examination of the way films raise and explore complex philosophical ideas. Written in a clear and engaging style, Thomas Wartenberg examines films' ability to discuss, and even criticize ideas that have intrigued and puzzled philosophers over the centuries such as the nature of personhood, the basis of morality, and epistemological skepticism. Beginning with a demonstration of how specific forms of philosophical discourse are presented cinematically, Wartenberg moves on to offer (...) a systematic account of the ways in which specific films undertake the task of philosophy. Focusing on the films The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Modern Times, The Matrix, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Third Man, The Flicker, and Empire, Wartenberg shows how these films express meaningful and pertinent philosophical ideas. This book is essential reading for students of philosophy with an interest in film, aesthetics, and film theory. It will also be of interest to film enthusiasts intrigued by the philosophical implications of film. (shrink)
A lively introduction to this celebrated philosophical tradition. -/- Existentialism pervades modern culture, yet if you ask most people what it means, they won’t be able to tell you. In this lively and topical introduction, Wartenberg reveals a vibrant mode of philosophical inquiry that addresses concerns at the heart of the existence of every human being. Wartenberg uses classic films, novels, and plays to present the ideas of now-legendary Existentialist thinkers from Nietzsche and Camus to Sartre and Heidegger and to (...) explore central concepts, including Freedom, Anxiety, and the Absurd. Special attention is paid to the views of Simone de Beauvoir and Franz Fanon, who use the theories of Existentialism to address gender and colonial oppression. (shrink)
Examining the ways in which philosophers from Plato onwards have used the concept of power, this work develops a field theory of power that rejects many of the reigning assumptions made about power. Incorporating the insights of feminist theorists, it argues that power has a positive as well as a negative role to play in social relations.
Abstract:Romeo and Juliet is one of the first works to emphasize the important place that romantic love holds in the lives of two individuals. Less frequently acknowledged is the role of romantic love in the play's criticism of feudal society. Using the notion of an unlikely couple, I explore the play's critique of feudal society for allowing the antagonism between the two lovers' noble households to undermine the possibility of their finding true love. The play argues for the importance of (...) a strong, centralized state in securing the welfare of its citizens. (shrink)
What would a visual image of a philosophical idea look like? Aren't philosophical concepts, by virtue of their very abstractness, incapable of being rendered visually? These are some of the questions raised in this catalogue of an exhibition at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Mel Bochner: Illustrating Philosophy, which examines a specific project by the renowned conceptual artist. Curator and author Thomas E. Wartenberg explores Bochner's prints and drawings inspired by the writings of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, a suite of (...) which was published as illustrations to the 1991 Arion Press edition of On Certainty. Through his sensitive analysis, Wartenberg shows how Bochner translates Wittgenstein's revolutionary claims about knowledge and doubt into visual images. Bochner's work presents an important corrective to a view of book illustrations as a crutch for understanding an author's meaning. Illustrations, in fact, can provide an alternative means of access to complex, even abstract ideas. This book will interest an academic audience, particularly in the areas of philosophy, art and art history, linguistics, and word and image studies. (shrink)
The authors represent the cutting edge of current research into the concept of power. Among the topics discussed are power in social theory, feminist conceptions of power, power and sexuality, modes of oppression and domination, the significance of Foucault’s theory of power, and power in market transactions. Included are contributions by Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, Terence Ball, Jeffrey Isaac, Thomas McCarthy, Gayatri Spivak, Iris Marion Young, Jean Baker Miller, Nancy C. M. Hartsock, Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis, and Roger S. Gottlieb.
Standard approaches to teaching philosophy tend to focus on teaching aspects of philosophy that are important to doing professional philosophy. This paper suggests an alternative to this approach by preparing college students to teach philosophy to elementary school children. After arguing that classics in children’s literature ought to be the primary vehicle for initiating philosophical discussion in elementary school children, an upper-level seminar for undergraduates at Mount Holyoke College that takes this alternative approach is described. Finally, the paper evaluates this (...) alternative approach, contending that this method is more effective than the traditional approach due to the fact that it provides a multi-dimensional learning experience for college-level students. (shrink)
A Chair of the Philosophy Department at a local college explains his reasoning and tactics on how he transferred knowledge from teacher to student for his newly created course, “Philosophy for Children” at MHC.