PHIL3056 Contemporary Topics in Philosophy comprises two parts, spanning cutting-edge debates in aesthetics/philosophy of film and in social/virtue epistemology. In Part I, ‘Film as Philosophy’ we will examine recent debates in the philosophy of film, focusing on the idea of ‘film as philosophy’ and the question whether film can contribute to philosophical understanding via cinematic means. As part of this debate we will explore particular case studies/films in depth that focus on emotion, empathy, and the idea of cinematic ethics (using cinema as a medium of ethical experience). In Part II, ‘Trust and Cooperation,’ we will examine the nature of practical and epistemic trust, the ways in which trust fosters cooperation, and the difficulties of placing trust wisely. We will conclude with a discussion of higher-order trust — the phenomenon of trusting someone to tell you whom to trust.
Part I 'Film as Philosophy'
Week 1: What is Philosophy of Film/Film-Philosophy?
Week 2: Ontologies of the Moving Image
Week 3: Understanding Film Narrative
Week 4: Cognitivism Goes to the Movies
Week 5: Affect and Emotion in Cinema
Week 6: Cinematic Ethics
Week 7: Film as Philosophy: Pro and Contra
Part II: 'Trust and Cooperation'
Week 8: What is trust?
Week 9: Cooperation and trust
Week 10: Trusting online
Week 11: The value of distrust
Week 12: Trust and meta-trust
Week 13 (optional): Essay advice