Film-Philosophy 16 (1):72-84 (2012)
Can some films be genuine thought experiments that challenge our commonsense intuitions? Certain filmic narratives and their mise-en-scène details reveal rigorous reasoning and counterintuitive outcomes on philosophical issues, such as skepticism or personal identity. But this philosophical façade may hide a mundane concern for entertainment. Unfamiliar narratives drive spectator entertainment, and every novel cinematic situation could be easily explained as part of a process that lacks motives of philosophical elucidation. The paper inverses the above objection, and proposes that when the main cinematic character resists spectator engagement (a crucial source of cinematic entertainment), emotionally challenged spectators also question their commonsensical beliefs about his/her actions, and detect a conceptually novel situation as such. A case study is Mike Leigh’s film Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), in which the main female character presents an unrelenting but eccentric version of 'feel good' happiness. Spectators gradually detect that the previously unexamined, commonsensical version of subjective happiness comes at the price of individual eccentricity, and that the choice of a subjective theory of happiness leads to consequences hitherto unacknowledged.
|Keywords||thought experiment Mike Leigh happiness|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Thought Experiments, Intuitions and Philosophical Evidence.Jessica Brown - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):493-516.
Memory and Morals in Memento : Hume at the Movies.George Bragues - 2008 - Film-Philosophy 12 (2):62-82.
Happiness and Subjective Desire Satisfaction: Wayne Davis's Theory of Happiness.Fred Feldman - manuscript
Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
Martha Nussbaum and the Foundations of Ethics: Identity, Morality and Thought-Experiments.Simon Beck - 2009 - South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):261-270.
The Evidential Significance of Thought Experiment in Science.W. J. - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (2):233-250.
Mourning Happiness: Narrative and the Politics of Modernity.Vivasvan Soni - 2011 - Cornell University Press.
Experiments and Thought Experiments in Natural Science.David Atkinson - 2003 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 232:209-226.
Selfishness, Self-Concern and Happiness.John H. Whittaker - 1980 - Journal of Religious Ethics 8 (1):149 - 159.
Added to index2012-08-30
Total downloads260 ( #12,118 of 2,152,503 )
Recent downloads (6 months)24 ( #14,709 of 2,152,503 )
How can I increase my downloads?