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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 26, Issue 1, March 2003

J. Lenore Wright, Anne-Marie Bowery
Pages 21-41

Socrates at the Cinema
Using Film in the Philosophy Classroom

This paper assesses the educational benefits of showing films in philosophy courses in four ways. First, a Socratic justification is given for why contemporary films are an effective means for raising philosophical questions, illustrating important philosophical concepts, and making philosophy more accessible. Second, the authors discuss several specific ways that films can be used to teach philosophy in introductory and upper-level courses. Third, the authors describe two ways that films can be effectively incorporated into a course: by showing them during the classroom lecture period and by integrating films with assignments. Finally, the authors respond to four different types of objections to the use of films in the philosophy classroom.

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