Course Description

What is the meaning of life? How does philosophy, film, and music depict these critical issues that can effect us all? That is what this course wants to investigate.

The famous text, Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes will introduce us to the world of being a philosopher. We will read and analyze this first modern book of philosophy and the first book to treat matters of life, death, and resurrection in the modern style. We'll then take this philosophical base and examine the very same topic in the film Vertigo, by the infamous director Alfred Hitchock. The film takes a markedly different vantage point than our previous readings. Building further our perceptions, we will watch, listen, and replay Erich Wolfgang Korngold's The Dead City, a masterpiece of early expressionism and, at the same time, a widely accessible, philosophical reflection on what it is to live, how the prospect of death affects our lives, and the possibility of significant rebirth or resurrection.

This seminar will allow a chance to construct an intellectual setting in which students can organize their own learning through thinking ahead activities; small group interactions; temporary partnering; developing roundtable presentations and discussions; composing philosophy books; interviewing a local philosopher, film maker, or operatic artist; as well as the writing, viewing, listening and analysis of material covered in class. A daily log of personal experiences will be required in the form of a philosophy journal.

GenEd Information: Currently approved for the IU Bloomington GenEd AH requirement. See the GenEd Website for more information.

Catalog Information: COLL-S 103 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN A & H

IFS course instructor photo

Course Instructor: David McCarty

Professor McCarty holds a DPhil in Literae Humaniores from the University of Oxford. He has taught as a faculty member at Carnegie-Mellon, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Florida State, and Georgia State universities in the US, as well as Edinburgh University in Scotland, Konstanz University in Germany, Monash University in Australia, and Soochow University in Taiwan. At Indiana, he is a member of FACET, the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching, and is a two-time winner of the Indiana University Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (TERA). McCarty is currently President of the Indiana Philosophical Association.

The Critical Issue: Philosophy, Film, and Music

The Critical Issue: Philosophy, Film, and Music: Courses: Intensive Freshman Seminars: Indiana University Bloomington