In the last three days of Sundance, I was fortunate enough to see a few more movies worth looking out for. The first four below haven’t reportedly been sold for distribution, but you may be able to catch parts or all of them online.
This essay is a lot more personal than any of my previous postings on this blog—or, indeed, any my writing anywhere else. It’s personal because it concerns a topic that is so important to me that I cannot bear to shroud it in a pretense of academic detachment and so overwhelmingly significant that the thought of writing about anything else seems grotesque.
In this article, Mark Greif, the essayist and founding editor of n+1, an intellecutal publication, wrote a tribute to his former mentor, the philosopher Stanley Cavell. Using Cavell as a model, and Cavell's own intellectual inspirations, Emerson and Thoreau, Greif asks, what makes a good public philosopher?
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power brings Al Gore’s message of the urgency of addressing climate change to film audiences. People interested in philosophy should see this film not only for what it says about the environment and politics but also for what it says about truth and how to present it.
What role did race play in his presidency and his path to it? Was Obama a black president, or a president who happened to be black?
In our annual year-in-review show, John and Ken were joined by political theorist Margaret Levi to discuss what the future looks like for workers when technology and automation are putting so many out of work. The particular technology discussed on The Examined Year 2016 was driverless vehicles, as there were some major advances (and some setbacks) in that area last year. But that is just part of a bigger trend in automation that is threatening jobs in many sectors.
Leslie Francis reviews the best, the worst, and the most controversial films of 2016. What films are on your list?
Recent research concluded that racism and sexism correlated more closely with support for Trump than economic dissatisfaction did. To reach out to those racist, sexist voters, the research suggested we use empathy. But how does one conjure empathy for deplorables?
Leslie Francis is a philosophy professor and law professor at the University of Utah. Her fields include applied ethics of all types, disability, philosophy of law, and law and health care. She is the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics and co-author of Privacy: What Everyone Needs to Know and Sustaining Surveillance: the Ethics and Politics of Public Health Data Use. Her overall approach to philosophy involves thinking about what matters in contexts of injustice; movies are a great laboratory for this.
Philosophy Talk is delighted to announce a new column on our blog called "Francis on Film" with Leslie Francis! She will be blogging and tweeting for us from the Sundance Film Festival, so look out for her on Philosophers' Corner, as well as on Twitter using the hashtag #FrancisOnFilm.