Center for Values and Social Policy
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Ethics in Film


When the word “values” is coupled with the words “social" and "policy,” one might erroneously assume that the only relevant issues relate to applied ethics. But the term “values” also applies to many questions outside of moral or political theory. Questions regarding the beautiful, the sublime, the role of art in society, the nature of art, the differences between the branches of the arts, are also all values questions.


Starting in Fall 2006, the Center will be taking responsibility for the newly launched online journal Ethics in Film. Ethics in Film is an electronic journal dedicated to bringing the power of film to the teaching of all areas of ethical inquiry. The journal publishes articles that use any form of motion picture excerpt as the teaching method and address any ethical genre. Ethics in Film strives to make these teaching methods easily accessible while maintaining the highest quality provided by double-blind peer review.


On top of this journal, the Department of Philosophy sponsors a film and philosophy series hosted by faculty and graduate students. Films are chosen according to their philosophical merit, and a lead faculty member or graduate student directs discussion following the film. Recent films have included Tarkovsky’s “Solaris,” von Trier’s “Dogville,” Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange,” Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and even Lucas’s “Return of the Jedi.”


John Fisher is currently conducting research on the aesthetics of nature, the definition of music, the nature of aesthetic qualities, a theory of entertainment and the ontology of performance.


Claudia Mills is the author of over 30 childrens books. On top of her expansive work in ethics, she also writes on philosophical issues and themes in children's literature.


Benjamin Hale is the editor of the recently-launched journal Ethics in Film, which is currently housed at the Center.


Dan Sturgis works primarily in aesthetics and environmental aesthetics.

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