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)
Big Ideas for Little Kids includes everything a teacher, a parent, or a college student needs to teach philosophy to elementary school children from picture books. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book explains why it is important to allow young children access to philosophy during primary-school education. Wartenberg also gives advice on how to construct a "learner-centered" classroom, in which children discuss philosophical issues with one another as they respond to open-ended questions by saying whether they agree (...) or disagree with what others have said. (shrink)
_Taking Picture Books Seriously: What can we learn about philosophy through children's books?_ This warm and charming volume casts a spell on adult readers as it unveils the surprisingly profound philosophical wisdom contained in children's picture books, from Dr Seuss's _Sneetches_ to William Steig's _Shrek!_. With a light touch and good humor, Wartenberg discusses the philosophical ideas in these classic stories, and provides parents with a practical starting point for discussing philosophical issues with their children. Accessible and multi-layered, it answers (...) questions like, Is it okay for adults to deceive kids? What's the difference between saying the Mona Lisa is a great painting and vanilla is your favorite flavor? Each chapter includes illustrations commissioned especially for this book. (shrink)
The contributors to this volume describe a range of programs that use picture books to teach philosophy to diverse audiences. From a pre-school program in which college students to do the teaching to a program focused on overcoming the legacy of violence and genocide in Mali in which the teachers write and illustrate their own picture books, the authors demonstrate the impact that learning philosophy has on diverse communities of young students and their teachers.
The question of how to define the concept of social power has been a focus of controversy among social theorists. In this paper, I put forward a definition of social power that avoids many of the pitfalls of previous attempts at such a definition. Roughly, I define the power which one agent has over another as the ability that the dominant agent has to control the situation within which the subservient agent acts. Using this basic definition of power, I go (...) on to define many of the central forms in which power actually exists, forms that are conceptualized by such concepts as force, coercion, and influence. I show that these different forms of power can all be understood as specifications of the generic definition of power that I offered and go on to develop an account of how they function in relation to one another in actual relationship of social power. (shrink)
This paper describes a research project assessing the effect on second grade students’ understanding of argumentation that a twelve-week program of weekly philosophy lessons had. The philosophy lessons were taught using popular picture books in the manner employed in my Teaching Children Philosophy program. Compared to a control group of second graders who did not study philosophy, it was demonstrated that the 45-minute weekly philosophy classes led to a significant and sustainable increase in students’ understanding of argumentation.
Released in 1999, _Fight Club_ is David Fincher’s popular adaption of Chuck Palahniuk’s cult novel, and one of the most philosophically rich films of recent years. This is the first book to explore the varied philosophical aspects of the film. Beginning with an introduction by the editor that places the film and essays in context, each chapter explores a central theme of _Fight Club_ from a philosophical perspective. Topics discussed include: _Fight Club_, Plato’s cave and Descartes’ cogito moral disintegration identity, (...) gender and masculinity visuals and narration. Including annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, _Fight Club_ is essential reading for anyone interested in the film, as well as those studying philosophy and film studies. (shrink)
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)
Although there has been an extensive debate about whether films can actually do philosophy, this chapter bypasses that debate in order to examine a number of different ways in which philosophy has been done by contemporary filmmakers. Using a variety of different films from different genres—including Anomalisa, an animated film; Amour, a narrative fiction film; and The Act of Killing, a documentary—the chapter explores some of the central ways that philosophy has been done on film—such as providing a counterexample to (...) a philosophical thesis, providing evidence to support a philosophical claim, and presenting an argument in support of a philosophical view. (shrink)
Organized around a series of philosophic questions about film,The Philosophy of Film: Introductory Text and Readingsoffers an accessible and engaging overview of the discipline. Provides thorough selection of readings drawn from philosophy,film studies, and film criticism Multiple points of view highlighted in discussion of filmtheory, narration, authorship, film and emotion, and the socialvalues of cinema Presents thought-provoking reading questions as well as clearand helpful introductions for each section More information about this text along with further resourcesare available from the accompanying (...) website at:http://www.mtholyoke.edu/omc/phil-film/index.html. (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.