PHIL 102

Philosophy, Film and the Meaning of Life

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 6, 2014 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

Does human life have a meaning? If so, where or how can it be found? How should one live? What kind of people should we want to be? How does the nature of one's community and one's position in it affect one's answers to these questions? Do only certain kinds of communities offer opportunities for a good life? This course uses movies and philosophical essays from classical and contemporary sources to discuss these and other matters concerning life's meaning.

Learning outcomes


  • Understand approaches to crucial questions such as the bounds of moral obligation, the nature of justice and the role of liberty.
  • Attain that understanding through an investigation of film and writings in philosophy and the humanities.
  • Explore how these issues map onto the rights and responsibilities of citizens in American society
  • Develop a beginning understanding of critical analysis of work in philosophy.
  • Be able to examine, articulate, and apply this newly developed understanding to their ethical views and understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.