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Philosophy Through Film Paperback – 19 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (19 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415997445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415997447
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,088,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'How does one make philosophy exciting for general readers and students in introductory philosophy classes?  Mary Litch has found the recipe.  Combine the dramatic power of contemporary narrative films with incisive discussions of central philosophical issues, and the result is a compelling book for teaching and learning about philosophy. Each chapter clearly and engagingly introduces a key philosophical topic, then expertly demonstrates how a recent film illustrates a philosophical position, or else, through its dramatic conflicts, clarifies opposing alternatives.  New to this edition are seventeen excerpts from primary sources, from Plato to Hume to Camus, making this book an excellent choice for introductory philosophy classes.'Carl Plantinga, Calvin College, USA

'Mary Litch's Philosophy Through Film was one of the first and remains one of the most useful textbooks for introducing students to philosophical concepts by way of film. Litch shows that popular films can be philosophical, in the sense that they raise philosophical concerns and illustrate in powerful ways the importance of these concerns. In addition to discussing several new films, the newest edition includes a selection of important classic readings in philosophy as complements to the film-based discussions of central topics, and offers an insightful and straightforward introduction to some of the many philosophical issues involved in considering film for its philosophical content.'  Nathan Andersen, Eckerd College, USA

About the Author

Mary M. Litch has taught philosophy at Yale University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is currently Director of Academic Technology and Digital Media at Chapman University, where she also teaches philosophy.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book which analyses various movies from a Philosophy perspective, the various ways we see the world, our ideas and understanding our social culture, habits and beliefs, together with how these social concepts are treated in various movie narratives which reflect our world and our understanding of it.

I found the book very useful to assist me in understanding reading of a film narrative from a Philosophical perspective something very different to examining a film from either a semiotic or film critical analysis which both lack the more deeper and wider implications of how film narrative and story reflect our belief systems and our perspective of culture and belief systems and our understanding of these social concepts..

Excellent book. Well worth the read. The chapter on the film RAPTURE is an astonishing analysis and interpretation of how a belief system can be challenged when it conflicts with our real needs in the real world or produces cognitive dissonance which forces us to abandon or reject our belief system even at the expense of being rejected by others and by our God and as a consequence we are forced to suffer alone. Once you peel back the many layers this is what you will find that as a person you are totally alone despite your belief system. Recommended..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction to philosophy through film 7 Aug. 2007
By Nathan Andersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the last decade or so a number of philosophers have become interested in film, both as a way of illustrating difficult concepts in philosophy and as a medium with a rich potential for the development of philosophical thought. Mary Litch's "Philosophy through Film" was one of the first and remains one of the best and most useful textbooks for introducing students to philosophical concepts by way of film, and uses ideas drawn from philosophy to help analyze films that raise important questions about the nature of human identity, the character of knowledge, and ethical and existential questions about how we live. The format is especially helpful. Each chapter introduces a central philosophical theme and raises several of the issues that surround this theme, and then illustrates the theme with a brief account of two or three contemporary and easily accessible films that raise issues related to this theme. The final part of the chapter presumes that students will have gone on to view the film for the first time, or once again with the specific thematic issues of the chapter in mind. She then gives a detailed summary of each film to suggest how the film raises and resolves such issues and examines what is at stake in the way the film seems to resolve this issue. So, for example, a chapter on personal identity -- the question what makes a person who he or she is -- is complemented by analyses of the films Being John Malkovich and Memento. A chapter on epistemology -- the question how we know what we know and whether we can have knowledge at all -- is complemented by analyses of "Total Recall" and "The Matrix." Overall, it is a fine book that is well written and clear -- and while I may disagree with some of her emphases and wish she had discussed certain subjects more or less, the overall presentation is compelling and interesting. Something she doesn't do, but that other philosophers have begun to do in a number of books, is raise questions about the nature of film itself and whether and to what extent it is a medium uniquely suited for the expression or exploration of philosophical ideas. Even more, whether film itself might be said to be a medium for philosophy and not merely a useful illustration of philosophical concepts. I use this as a text in my course entitled Film and Philosophy to introduce students to the methods of philosophy, and especially to make relevant some of the seemingly abstract debates that take place within ethics, epistemology and metaphysics. I supplement this with discussions and readings in aesthetics to raise the question what is distinctive to film as a medium, and to raise questions that go beyond film as an illustration of philosophy and in the direction of the "philosophy of film." I'd love to see Mary Litch come out with a new edition of this excellent text, and expect to keep using it for some time.

UPDATE: a new edition of Philosophy through Film has been published, including discussions of more films and additional topics, as well as a brief but valuable introduction to issues surrounding the "philosophy of film."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A very informative book 14 July 2011
By clover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my philosophy class at college. I had neither interest nor knowledge about philosophy prior to this class. But the book made it easy for me to enter philosophical world, it was not that boring as I thought. Overall a good book for beginner of philosophy, very throughly explained and informative.
intellectual exercise! 21 Jan. 2014
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely recommend this book. Those who seek books to expand your perception in life, this book is a must.
Great Book 2 Dec. 2014
By Candice boult - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting way to study philosophy and definitely easier to understand. I regret giving this book away even though the class that I used it for ended.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great Quality 31 Jan. 2011
By Saiyuri007 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This product arrived in great condition and was exactly as discribed. Arrived on time and undamaged. I highly recomend this seller.
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