FYS-138 Plato, Personhood, and Popcorn: Big Ideas on the Big Screen

Instructor: Visiting Assistant Professor Vernon W. Cisney
Department: Philosophy

Course Description:
What did you think of that movie? This seminar is a philosophical exploration, through both text and film, of the nature of the self and its relationship to the world. Along the way it addresses questions concerning the experience of time and its relation to memory, the meaning of suffering in and out of the context of religious faith, the nature and value of thinking as a practice of everyday life, and the roles and limitations of human knowledge and technology. In addition to textual analysis, the course examines these questions with some of the more provocative films in the history of the cinema (such as Blade Runner, Fight Club, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and others), mining and developing strategies for watching movies at various intellectual levels, thereby enriching the overall experience of the capabilities of film, and illuminating the significance of philosophy as a living activity of thought that finds and transforms us in even the most seemingly mundane moments.