Philosophers at the Movies

Steve Fesenmaier (
Thu, 23 Jan 2003 12:06:12 -0800 (PST)

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This will be in my March column for Graffiti magazine -

Philosophers at the Movies

Colin McGinn is a serious philosopher who has written some very
interesting things about the movies, most notably “The Matrix.” (You
can find his article, “The Matrix of Dreams,” on the official website
for the film under the philosophy section at: He will also have a two new
books coming out in 2003 - “Mindsight: Image, Dream, Meaning” and
“Screen Dreams,” comparing movies to dreams in a serious, philosophical
style. In 2002 he published a very readable and interesting
autobiography, “The Making of a Philosopher: My Journey Through
Twentieth-Century Philosophy.” The most exciting thing in relation to
movies that he will be doing over the next two years is helping Films
for the Humanities and Sciences produce a new series of educational
films about the history of philosophy. This company presently has
several series of films, mostly produced in the late Seventies, made by
the BBC, interviewing philosophers at Oxford where McGinn studied and
taught. The series will range from ancient to many aspects of
contemporary philosophy – 13 chapters, 50 mins. Each. He has relocated
to Rutgers that presently has the highest-ranked philosophy program in
the English speaking world. Locally, Dr. Robin Broughton of WV State,
who has a Masters in philosophy, will be showing the new film “Derrida”
in her course on media analysis. Also, Gordon Simmons, a teacher at WV
State and other local community colleges, will also be using that film
and others in his four philosophy courses. My review of “Derrida” is
posted on the film’s website, along with the London Times, etc. review.
I chose it as one of my “Top Ten” films of 2002.

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