As I mentioned a while ago, this fall I will be teaching a lower-division philosophy course on pop culture and philosophy. I am super excited about the course, which will pair traditional philosophical readings with things ranging from films, to television episodes, visual art, poetry, popular essays, and songs. However, I could really use some help on songs, poetry, and art.
Here are the philosophical issues I have on the syllabus:
- God's existence
- The ethics of faith and belief
- Religious epistemology (viz. revelation, argument, scripture)
- Divine hiddenness & atheism
- The problem of evil
- The afterlife and potentiality of divine judgment (viz. heaven and hell)
- Ethics (a module introducing moral theories, including non-Western thought, at a beginnger's level)
- Happiness & meaning in life
- Feminism, sexuality & consent
- Bearing & raising children
- Free will
- Non-Western perspectives on life and death
- The nature of reality
I realize this is a ton of topics to run through in a semester--but this is sort of how I roll, especially for lower-level courses, where my primary aims are to (i) get students excited about philosophy, (ii) introduce them to philosophical questions I hope will fascinate them and show them why philosophy is worth doing (qua the many questions it examines relevant to our lives), and (iii) get them to think independently about these questions at a beginner's level.
In any case, do you know of any songs, poetry, or artworks that speak to any of the above issues? I'm hoping to include a good mix of works that my students are likely already familiar with (e.g. popular songs), especially works that speak to students of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, as well as works they might be unfamiliar with (i.e. things "before their time" - for instance, I already have a couple of Pink Floyd songs, a Leonard Cohen song, and Joy Division song on the syllabus, along with ‘This is America’ by Childish Gambino/Donald Glover). Many thanks to anyone and everyone who chimes in!