This book addresses a prominent group of virtues and vices as portrayed in popular films to further our understanding of these moral character traits. The discussions emphasize the interplay between the philosophical conception of the virtues and vices and the cinematic representations of character.
Joseph H. Kupfer explores how fictional characters possessing certain moral strengths and weaknesses concretize our abstract understanding of them. Because the actions that flow from these traits occur in cinematic contexts mirroring real world conditions, the narrative portrayals of these moral characteristics can further our appreciation of their import. Humility, integrity and perseverance, for example, are depicted in Chariots of Fire, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Billy Elliot, while the vices of envy, arrogance and vanity are captured in Amadeus, Whiplash, and Young Adult.
This interdisciplinary work in philosophy and film criticism will be of great interest to scholars and students of film studies, philosophy of film, ethics, aesthetics, and popular culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Taking Humility in Stride in Chariots of Fire; 2. Arrogance in the Classroom: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Whiplash; 3. Art and Integrity in The Fabulous Baker Boys; 4. Amadeus as a Portrait of Envy; 5. The Virtues of Aspiration: Three Boys Make Good; 6. The Calamity of Vanity in Young Adult
Joseph H. Kupfer is University Professor of Philosophy at Iowa State University. He has previously written on such topics as privacy, lying, the parent-child relationship, aesthetics of nature, and the virtues. His most recent book, Aesthetic Violence and Women in Film: Kill Bill with Flying Daggers, addresses philosophical issues in popular action movies.