Doing Philosophy at the Movies

Explores philosophical ideas through an examination of popular film. Doing Philosophy at the Movies finds the roots of profound philosophical ideas in the relatively ordinary context of popular, mostly Hollywood, movies. Richard A. Gilmore suggests that narratives of popular films like Hitchcock’s Vertigo, John Ford’s The Searchers, Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, and Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting mirror certain epiphanies in the works of great philosophers. Via Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Zðizûek, Gilmore addresses such themes as the nature of philosophy, the possibility of redemption through love, catharsis, the sublime, and the human problem of death. Gilmore argues that seeing these movies through the lens of certain philosophical ideas can show how deeply relevant both philosophy and the movies can be. Richard A. Gilmore is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Concordia College and the author of Philosophical Health: Wittgenstein’s Method in “Philosophical Investigations.”

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Publisher SUNY Press
Release Date
ISBN 0791483533
Pages 195 pages
Rating 4/5 (34 users)

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