Films provide a great medium to promote dialogue about Philosophy. For the professor who wants to enhance her lecture, or for the student who desires a creative connection to theory, I’ve listed a few pairings below that I’ve used in my own courses.
1. Descartes: The Matrix, The Truman Show, Source Code, Waking Life, Inception
2. Ethical Theory (Virtue, Duty, Utilitarianism, Existentialism): Blood Diamond, The Emperor’s Club, Good Will Hunting, Iron Man, The Beach, Match Point
3. Business Ethics: Enron, The Smartest Guys in the Room
4. Engineering Ethics: Flash of Genius
5. Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Women) and/or John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women): A League of Their Own, Bend It Like Beckham, North Country
6. Robert Kane’s argument for Free Will: The Truman Show
7. d’Holbach’s argument for Determinism: Minority Report, Sliding Doors
8. Philosophy of Religion: Bruce Almighty, Contact, Dogma
9. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Gandhi
*Note to professors, create a list of questions to pass out before showing the film. This will keep students engaged and direct their attention to key connections between the film and theory. After the film, put the students into groups to discuss the questions.