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James Heffernan

Philosophy is an interesting subject. This is because the great thinkers of the world who we call philosophers discuss questions that most of us find worth thinking about and sometimes -- indeed at the most challenging times in life -- very important to think about.  These include: Can a person be certain that there is a God? Is there life after death? How do I know I am doing the right thing? What is it all for? But the good thing about philosophers is that they do not ask us simply to accept what they say. They offer reasons and arguments and they are very interested in other philosophers who disagree with them. This leaves us free to listen and decide for ourselves the answers we find most reasonable.

In my classes I aim to leave my students with the impression that philosophy is relevant to their everyday lives. To reinforce this I frequently make use of film clips from recent movies to show how it is almost impossible to make a film that doesn't include a few philosophical moments. Films I have made use of include: The Matrix; Grosse Point Blank; I [Heart] Huckabees; and Woody Allen films such Annie Hall, Hannah and her Sisters, and Love and Death.

James Heffernan
Professor of Philosophy
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