Philosophical Films


C. Thi Nguyen (Utah Valley University), asked for suggestions of philosophical films on Twitter recently, and got a number of good responses.

Douglas Young (Lycoming College) then compiled them into a Google spreadsheet with columns to note the philosophical themes of the movies and suggest readings to go along with them.

The spreadsheet is below. You can also view and edit it here.


Related: “Philosophers in Fictional Works“, “Philosophers Pick Philosophical Movies“, “Logical Fallacies Through Funny Videos

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Bruce Janz
Bruce Janz
2 years ago

When I ran the email discussion list Philo-Teach, back when those existed, there was a similar discussion (it would have been in about 1998 or so. Here’s what people came up with then (without the specifics of how they used them, which some people also offered):

List by topic

Ethics
Crimes and Misdeameanors
The Shop on Main Street
Shoah
Mr. Klein
Transport from Paradise
Private Schultz
Animal Farm
Groundhog Day
High Noon
Housesitter
Quiz Show
Seven
Chinatown
Angel Heart
The Vanishing (The original Dutch version)
The Doctor
Moonstruck
Antigone
Deliverance
Alexandre le bienheureux

Higher/Lower Pleasures
Educating Rita
Dead Poets Society
My Fair Lady
Modern Times
Dangerous Liaisons
Modern Times

Human Rights
The Name of the Father
The Battle Of Algiers
Burn!

Personhood/Moral Worth
Blade Runner
Star Trek: The Next Generation “The Measure of a Man” =

Logic/Critical Thinking
Rainman
The Simpsons

Epistemology
Chinatown
The Thin Blue Line
Blow-Up
Existentialism
Runaway Train
Notes From The Underground

Personal Identity
Colossus: The Forbin Project
Blade-Runner
Whose Life is This Anyway?
The Net
Angel Heart
Total Recall

Postmodernism
Pulp Fiction

Philosophy of Religion
The Last Temptation of Christ
Agnes of God
Leap of Faith
Rapture

Creationism
Inherit the Wind

Other
Unforgiven
Ride the High Country
The Wild Bunch
He Said/She Said
Witness
Raiders Of The Lost Ark
The Vanishing (The original Dutch version)
My Dinner with Andre
The AccidentReport

Matt
2 years ago

One to add is Leviathan, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev and written by Zvyaginstev and Oleg Negin – a stunning film that is great for thinking about the problem of evil and political power, mixing together seamlessly the Book of Job and the Hobbesian references of the title. (It’s also a great film for learning a bit about present-day Russia, though that’s less obviously philosophical.)Report

K
K
2 years ago

In what regard does Blade Runner deal with the problem of evil? I’m a big fan of the film but never made that thematic connection.Report