Imagination and Perception in Film Experience

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7 (2020)
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Abstract

Both perception and imagination seem to play a crucial role in our engagement with fiction films but whether they really do so, and which role they possibly play, is controversial. On the one hand, a fiction film, as film, is a depiction that invites us to perceive the events portrayed. On the other hand, as fiction, it invites us to imagine the story told. Thus, after watching the film Alien, one might say that one saw Ripley fighting the monster but one might also say that one imagined Ripley fighting the monster. Are these two reports compatible? If they are, how can we combine them so to make sense of them? If, instead, they are not, which of them should we give up?

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Enrico Terrone
Università degli Studi di Genova

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