Cinema and the Artificial Passions: a Conversation with the Abbé Du Bos

Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 69 (3-4):419-430 (2013)
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Abstract

Resumo Na entrevista ficcional que se segue, as ideias de Abbé Jean-Baptiste Du Bos sobre as artes de representação serão aplicadas a aspectos relevantes do cinema. Du Bos argumenta que, normalmente, as obras de ficção cinematográfica são projectadas para dar origem a “paixões artificiais”, que têm a função de fornecer alívio ao tédio, sem as consequências negativas que muitas actividades alternativas têm. Também será considerada a questão, se os filmes têm um significado filosófico. O resultado é uma perspectiva desconhecida, do princípio do século XVIII, em algumas temáticas contemporâneas. Palavras-chave : catarse, cinema apocalíptico, Du Bos, emoção, paixões artificiais, paradoxo do afecto negativoIn the following fictional interview, the Abbé Jean-Baptiste Du Bos’ ideas about the representational arts are applied to relevant aspects of the cinema. Du Bos argues that normally works of cinematic fiction are designed to give rise to ‘artificial passions’ that have the function of providing relief from boredom without the negative consequences that many alternative pursuits would have. Du Bos’ solution to the paradox of negative affect and his position on Aristotle’s doctrine of catharsis are also set forth in the interview. The question of whether films have philosophical significance is also taken up. The upshot is a somewhat unfamiliar early 18th-century perspective on some contemporary issues. Keywords: apocalyptic cinema, artificial passions, catharsis, Du Bos, emotion, paradox of negative affect

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Paisley Livingston
Lingnan University

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