Philosophy of Film OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Philosophy Class by MIT

Published Feb 06, 2009

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Uncover the prevalence of philosophy in various films in 'Philosophy of Film', an OpenCourseWare offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This course examines different films and the philosophies they project. There are no prerequisites for this course, but students seeking a degree in Philosophy will benefit the most from taking it.

Philosophy of Film: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes Yes Yes Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Philosophy of Film: Course Description

Study films and identify how different factors are used to project meaning. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Cambridge, MA, uses this course to demonstrate how different filmmakers, like Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Jean Renoir express their worldviews through their works. Students watch films, like John Cocteau's 'Beauty and the Beast', 'Citizen Kane', 'Psycho' and 'The Magnificent Ambersons' to analyze creative expressions and philosophies in films.

The course covers how realism, formalism, pessimism, nostalgia and sentimentality are used to develop the different philosophies of each of the creators. MIT Professor Irving Singer introduces Philosophy students to several reasons that studying films can be useful in studying Philosophy.

Study materials and some sample assignments are available for free online. Audio and video accompaniments are also available as notes and lectures. To take this course or to learn more, visit the 'Philosophy of Film' course page.

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