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Human Nature in Film: Topics in Philosophy is a Course

Human Nature in Film: Topics in Philosophy

Ended Dec 18, 2014

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Full course description

Starts October 6, 2014

In this class we will be viewing films that both express perceived meaning in life and those that are seeking to find it. We will look at art that intends to imitate reality, art that will express emotions, and art that uses good form. We will view films that give insight into the inner world of humanity and that provide universal truths about human nature.

Film as Art and Philosophy

Film is a form of art that is powerful and can have great influence on how we think, provided it is made well. Film is also full of philosophy. Each director has a purpose for the films he or she directs. Each writer has a purpose for the scripts he or she writes. When the writing and directing go hand in hand, film becomes a powerful means for making claims about truth, politics, moral standards, religion, education, reality, and other important subjects.

This course will use movies as examples for understanding the philosophical questions regarding human nature, including the following:

  • What is human nature?
  • How does the mind relate to the body?
  • Is there an enduring self?
  • Are humans independent creatures?
  • What constitutes an individuals identity?

Scott Shiffer, Ph.D.

Scott Shiffer, Ph.D.

Director of Distance Education

Dr. Shiffer has been teaching philosophy and theology courses since 2006. He has a deep love and appreciation for the arts and believes they are a good tool for helping students learn to think more critically about important issues in our world. Dr. Shiffer is the director of distance education at Criswell College and leads a ministry organization called Transformation Media Ministries. He has a chapter published in the book, Light Shining in a Dark Place: Discovering Theology through Film.