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This course examines works of film in relation to thematic issues of philosophical importance that also occur in other arts, particularly literature and opera. Emphasis is put on film's ability to represent and express feeling as well as cognition. Both written and cinematic works by Sturges, Shaw, Cocteau, Hitchcock, Joyce, and Bergman, among others, are considered. There are no tests or quizzes, however students write two major papers on media/philosophical research topics of their choosing.

 Over 3 hours of video.

4 sessions.


Irving Singer is a professor of philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of books on various topics, including cinema, love, sexuality, and the philosophy of George Santayana. He has written about the work of film directors Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, and Orson Welles. Singer has been publishing on philosophy since 1951.


Philosophy In Film and Other Media by Prof. Irving Singer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

Course content

  • Session 1

  • Session 2

  • Session 3

  • Session 4

  • Readings

  • Assignments

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