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Finding Ourselves at the Movies

Philosophy for A New Generation
Finding Ourselves at the Movies
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Columbia Univ Pr

Academic philosophy may have lost its audience, but the traditional subjects of philosophy -- love, death, justice, knowledge, and faith -- remain as compelling as ever. To reach a new generation, Paul W. Kahn argues that philosophy must take up these fundamental concerns as we find them in contemporary culture. He demonstrates how this can be achieved through a turn to popular film.

Discussing such well-known movies as Forrest Gump (1994), The American President (1995), The Matrix (1999), Memento (2000), The History of Violence (2005), Gran Torino (2008), The Dark Knight (2008), The Road (2009), and Avatar (2009), Kahn explores powerful archetypes and their hold on us. His inquiry proceeds in two parts. First, he uses film to explore the nature of action and interpretation, arguing that narrative is the critical concept for understanding both. Second, he explores the narratives of politics, family, and faith as they appear in popular films. Engaging with genres as diverse as romantic comedy, slasher film, and pornography, Kahn explores the social imaginary through which we create and maintain a meaningful world. He finds in popular films a new setting for a philosophical inquiry into the timeless themes of sacrifice, innocence, rebirth, law, and love.



Authors: Kahn, Paul W., 1952-
Statement of Responsibility: Paul W. Kahn
Title: Finding ourselves at the movies
philosophy for a new generation
Characteristics: xii, 239 pages ; 24 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents: Pt. 1. From philosophy to film
Philosophy, democracy, and the turn to film
Freedom and persuasion
On interpretation
Pt. 2. Film and the social imaginary
Violence and the state
Love, romance, and pornography
Conclusion: film, faith, and love
Notes
Bibliography: Essays on sources
Subject Headings: Motion pictures Philosophy
Topical Term: Motion pictures
LCCN: 2013016275
ISBN: 9780231164382
0231164386
9780231536028
Branch Call Number: 792.9 K
Research Call Number: MFL 14-978
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Kahn, Paul W., 1952-
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