Philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of human existence that explore the dialogue between Catholic, Christian, secular and skeptical perspectives on these questions. For additional information, please contact Dr. Brogan at walter.brogan or Dr.Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instructors: Walter Brogan, Julie Klein
Philosophy concerns knowledge and knowledge often requires that we be able to sort out the differences between what appears to be true (but is in fact false) and what is really true; literature involves representation and representation produces an appearance; they come together when we focus on how a reader's knowledge contributes to the act of reading representational literature and in what way we expect the representations of literature to be "true." An author may reveal to the reader information hidden from characters in the story or an author may suppress information crucial to the story so as to trick the reader. A reader may know things that make a novel "false." The relation of the reader to the novel raises several questions and they lie at the heart of this course. How can an author utilize the reader's knowledge to generate suspense or comedy or sympathy for a character? Can an author move between "appearances" and "reality" within a novel and if so then how does a reader "know" the difference? How does the author rely on the reader's knowledge without reference to the information provided within the context of the literature? In this course, we shall read a short story, two novellas, and a novel in order to examine these questions. For additional information, please contact Dr. Lang at email@example.com.
Understood philosophically, what a film means turns up on three levels. It is revealed in the ways issues about being human are addressed and answered in a film, in how this or that representation of our relation to nature or the city or modernity, the past and the future, to race, gender, and class distinctions, to love, sadness, coming of age, and death challenges or enhaces the ways we understand our everyday lives and experiences. How does a film distort, idealize, inform or correct our ordinary perception of reality? It is revealed in the ways films "mean." How do films make meaning from the otherwise random gradations of light and local or incidental sounds that are attached to reels of perforated celluloid and digital data files? It is revealed,finally, in the aesthetic qualities of films. How can we appreciate films as works of art? TEXT: Braudy and Cohen, Film Theory and Criticism, 6e (ISBN:0195158172). REQUIREMENTS: Participation on Blackboard, seven (500 word) response papers weighted equaly and averaged to equal half the final grade, and one (1500-2000 word) term paper equal to the other half of the final grade. For more information go to http://www.homepage.villanova.edu/john.carvalho/Film/information or contact Dr. Carvalho at firstname.lastname@example.org.