Our work this semester reads ideas from phenomenology and existentialism in popular films. While we are acquainting ourselves with the major tenets of these philosophical positions, we are also focusing our work on issues of freedom and moral responsibility as they arise in these contexts. We'll be writing short, conceptual "invitations" that interpret a scene or theme in a film according to an idea from authors and texts with which we're working. We'll post our work here as the semester proceeds.
While the list of films is evolving, the set of texts from which we'll be working includes:
Jean-Paul Sartre, "Existentialism is a Humanism" (1946). Full text available here.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "Freedom," from Phenomenology of Perception (1945).
Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity (1948).
John Russon, Human Experience: Philosophy, Neurosis, and the Elements of Everyday Life (2003).
Francisco Varela, "Know-How and Know-What: the First Lecture," from Ethical Know-How: Action, Wisdom, and Cognition (1999).
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952).
Sara Ahmed, "Orientations Matter," from New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, Politics (2010).
We hope it goes without saying, but the views and analysis expressed in this blog are those of the authors and not necessarily of the institution with which we're associated.