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Philosophy at the Movies is an engaging discussion with Dr. Shaun Baker and Alex Baker, on the intriguing philosophical elements embedded in popular movies. Listen the the podcast, and then watch the movies, or watch first, then listen, if you would like to avoid spoilers.

About your hosts:  Mr. Alex Baker is a media professional with experience in communications. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Film Studies at Anne Arundel Community College, another Associates Degree in Radio Production at Howard Community College, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Maryland University College. He previously worked at the radio station for Howard Community College from 2015-2018 where he produced numerous radio shows including a movie soundtrack show, The Sound of Cinema, and movie talk show Armchair Directors. Along with working on Philosophy at the Movies he currently hosts a movie music podcast Reel Sounds

Dr. Shaun Baker has been with the Stockdale Center since 2006. At the Center he coaches the Ethics Debate team and is a member of the media team that is in the process of producing a documentary, The Legacy: Return with Honor, is involved with production of interactive ethics simulations, and interactive electronic ethics and leadership volumes such as Ethics for the Junior Officer and Ethics at the Movies. He also hosts the Annual Military Ethics Case Competition for the Service Academies, and writes case studies for that event and others. Each year he also teaches an elective course "Philosophy at the Movies," which serves as the inspiration for this podcast. Before moving to Maryland, he spent 10 years in Michigan, teaching at the University of Michigan Dearborn, Wayne State University, Oakland University, Schoolcraft Community College, and Mid-Michigan Community College. He also taught computer skills at the Methodist Children's Home in Detroit. He earned his B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1992 and his Ph.D. in 1999 from Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan. 


THE HATE U GIVE                            Shaun and Alex Baker                                                                                 Episode #4

What does W.E.B Dubois' concept of 'double consciousness' tell us about the main character Starr Carter, and life as a black American? What does it tell us about recent police shootings of unarmed black men? What does THUGLIFE mean? Is the message of The Hate U Give one of despair or hope when it comes to race relations? How does this theme connect with other recent films and the comedy of Key and Peele, and Dave Chapell? These, and other questions are explored.

BLADE RUNNER                               Shaun and Alex Baker Episode #3

What does Blade Runner tell us about the role of empathy in morality?  How are memories connected with personal identity?  What connection is there between the capacity for cruelty and moral agency?  Is there religious significance or commentary in this film and in the book upon which it is based? These, and other questions are explored.

ARRIVAL                                          Shaun and Alex Baker Episode #2 

What does the 2016 film Arrival tell us about time, and our relationship to it?  If you knew your future and could choose, would you live it exactly as it is to unfold?  Does foreknowledge of the future course of our lives imply that their is no free will? Would it be wrong to inform loved ones of the tragedies you see for them? Would it be wrong to enter into relationships that you know will end in tragedy? These and other questions are explored in this film.

GROUNDHOG DAY                       Shaun Baker Episode #1 

What would you do without repercussions? How would you live in a world of no consequences? Dr. Shaun Baker specializes in philosophy at the movies. He breaks down Aristotelian concepts in the movie “Groundhog Day”, focusing on what true happiness means. He holds his PhD from Wayne State University and coaches the ethics debate team at the Naval Academy.




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