Film as Philosophy: In Defense of a Bold Thesis

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (3):409-420 (2009)
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Abstract

I argue for a position close to what Paisley Livingston calls the bold thesis of cinema as philosophy. The bold thesis I defend is that films can make innovative, independent philosophical contributions by paradigmatic cinematic means. I clarify the thesis before presenting what Livingston thinks is a fatal problem for any similar position—the problem of paraphrase. As an example in defense of the bold thesis, I offer the "For God and Country" sequence in Sergei Eisenstein’s October (1928). I argue that this scene offers an analogical argument similar in form to what some think Nietzsche presents in the Genealogy of Morality. Moreover, I argue that the argument presented in October is independent, could have been innovative, and is presented via the paradigmatic cinematic means of montage.

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Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College

Citations of this work

Are There Definite Objections to Film as Philosophy? Metaphilosophical Considerations.Diana Neiva - 2019 - In Christina Rawls, Diana Neiva & Steven S. Gouveia (eds.), Philosophy and Film: Bridging Divides. Nova Iorque, NY, Estados Unidos: Routledge Press, Research on Aesthetics. pp. 116-134.
Fictionalism About Musical Works.Anton Killin - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):266-291.
The Cognitive Value of Blade Runner.McGregor Rafe - 2015 - Aesthetic Investigations 1 (2).
Quaderns de filosofia V, 1.Quad Fia - 2018 - Quaderns de Filosofia 5 (1).

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References found in this work

A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
Theses on Cinema as Philosophy.Paisley Nathan Livingston - 1991 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (1):11–18.

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