This interdisciplinary study explores the relevance and application of Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology to key issues in the philosophy film. It develops a comprehensive look at how Heidegger’s thought illuminates historical and contemporary problems the film medium poses to philosophers.
This handbook brings together essays in the philosophy of film and motion pictures from authorities across the spectrum. It boasts contributions from philosophers and film theorists alike, with many essays employing pluralist approaches to this interdisciplinary subject. Core areas treated include film ontology, film structure, psychology, authorship, narrative, and viewer emotion. Emerging areas of interest, including virtual reality, video games, and nonfictional and autobiographical film also have dedicated chapters. Other areas of focus include the film medium’s intersection with contemporary social (...) issues, film’s kinship to other art forms, and the influence of historically seminal schools of thought in the philosophy of film. Of emphasis in many of the essays is the relationship and overlap of analytic and continental perspectives in this subject. (shrink)
Proposes a shift in thinking about the connection of Malick's filmmaking and the philosophy of Heidegger. My approach considers Heidegger's philosophy of art in order to develop some outlines of a Heideggerian philosophy of film. I also consider some aspects of Terrence Malick's films viewed as exemplar instances of the philosophical theory of film Heidegger's work can support.
This article examines selected texts in which Martin Heidegger thematizes the ontology of images, in order to adduce a view of how he understands their merits and limitations. I am primarily interested in the images seen in art works, especially those in film and photography, given Heidegger’s strong criticism of the latter alongside other 20th-century communicative media. The goal of the article is not to determine what is Heidegger’s central or overall position regarding images, as it is not clear that (...) he has such a position. Rather, the goal is to analyze how his various statements on images, as well as imagination, fit together. I contrast Heidegger’s critical views in “The Age of the World Picture” with other texts in which he describes images more favorably. I also devote some space to texts in which Heidegger treats imagination and the origin of images more broadly. (shrink)
Responds to the seminal claim of Bruce Russell that films cannot present philosophical arguments. Provides a reading of The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011) in order to illustrate how this film presents an environmental ethics argument. Some reference to the environmental philosophy of Holmes Rolston III as well as Martin Heidegger.
Explores how the fragments of Heraclitus might yield an implicit understanding of the human body in distinction to the soul. In the history of scholarship on Heraclitus, soul is a much better understood concept, whereas it is normally assumed that Heraclitus, along with other figures of early Greek thought, shows only the most limited comprehension of the human being in terms of bodily form or substance. In this work I sketch some different ways in which Heraclitus’ accounts of nature and (...) human life can be said to exhibit a rudimentary picture of body. I suggest that Heraclitus depicts the human body as a special form of soul’s self-differentiation and logos. I attempt to consider how Heraclitus may represent an historical moment in understanding the human in terms of its physical makeup. (shrink)
Develops Heidegger’s understanding of the Greek gods in the summer 1943 lecture course on Heraclitus. Of particular note is Heidegger’s assertion at the beginning of the lecture course that “there is no Greek religion,” though Heraclitus is said to “have” gods. Heidegger holds that the essential activity of gods consists in "giving signs." An explanation of the connection between gods and their signs gains clarification by a study of how Heidegger understands the Greek concepts of theoi and daimones in the (...) earlier but related Parmenides course of winter 1942-43. (shrink)
This article examines Martin Heidegger's concept of conscience in Being and Time as it is manifested by the characters Don Draper from the television series Mad Men (Matthew Weiner, 2007-2013) and Chauncey Gardiner in the film Being There (Hal Ashby, 1979). The article suggests that Draper hears and occasionally responds to what Heidegger terms the “call of conscience,” whereas Gardiner neither hears this call nor responds to it. Gardiner poses a problem case for Heidegger’s account of Dasein by virtue of (...) failing to exhibit conscience. A question latent in Gardiner’s makeup is what causes him to be this way. The contrast of the characters Draper and Gardiner is approached through the lens of the portrayal of secret identity in filmic media. Both characters live public lives that are at odds with their genuine selves, but they react to this disconnect differently. Core concepts addressed vis-a-vis Heidegger’s account of conscience include facticity, falling, discourse, authenticity, and death. The article concludes that Draper hears and responds to conscience’s call because he has a discursive comprehension of the disconnect between his true self and the public life he has lived; a crucial component of the phenomenon of conscience according to Heidegger is the existential capacity for discourse. Gardiner, in contrast, does not hear conscience at all because his Dasein lacks the discursive element that conscience requires in order to be activated. Gardiner’s being-in-the-world is such that he fails to understand the divide between his lived self and his public self. For Gardiner, these are the same. (shrink)
Provides an account of philosophy adopted from Being and Time and later works of Heidegger in order to respond to key questions in the film-as-philosophy debate. I follow the school of Stanley Cavell, Robert Sinnerbrink, and Stephen Mulhall in the view that philosophy occurs in film in phenomenological ways that transcend mere argumentative discourse and logical analysis. Some of the views I counter include those of Bruce Russell and Paisley Livingston.
This chapter surveys foundational concepts in the history of phenomenology for the purpose of highlighting their relevance for key contemporary issues in the philosophy of film. A central argument concerns phenomenology’s capacity for unraveling the ontology of film, given phenomenology’s emphasis on accounting for the ontology of phenomena through description based in first-person experience. On this ground, the chapter defends the claim that film’s ontology stems from the projective intentionality of the film viewer, where the communicative nature of embodied vision (...) also figures into play. The principal phenomenological frameworks taken up are those of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, as well as the work of contemporary film scholar Vivian Sobchack. (shrink)
Advocates an existential, phenomenological reading of Heraclitus suggested by Hans-Georg Gadamer. Gadamer observes that within the Heraclitean fragments lay a subliminal wonder at the contradiction and groundlessness of the human experience, particularly the unmediated experience of thinking. I take Gadamer to suggest in part that Heraclitus writes the fragments motivated by a sort of phenomenological disclosure, not necessarily of Being (pace Heidegger), but of the human experience as one of contradictory transitions and unrestricted movements between poles of opposition.
Previously available as Volume 18 of the Gesamtausgabe [GA], this text contains a lecture course delivered by Heidegger at Marburg during the summer of 1924. Metcalf and Tanzer's translation is its first appearance in English. The editor of this volume in the Gesamtausgabe reports that only a fraction of Heidegger's original course material survives in manuscript form. As a result, much of the text does not originate from Heidegger's own hand. The bulk of it represents a transcription of the lecture (...) course based on multiple independently-recorded, complete sets of student notes in conjunction with Heidegger's extant course papers. However, the resulting text reads as continuously as Heidegger's other .. (shrink)
This article surveys influential views on the topic of film-as-philosophy, principally the positions of Bruce Russell, Thomas Wartenburg, Noël Carroll, and Stephen Mulhall. Historically, this conversation has been restricted to a somewhat conservative view initiated by Russell and defended by others, according to which the film medium is fundamentally incapable of generating positive philosophical achievement in purely cinematic fashion. One of my interests is to show how the dialogue initiated by Russell suffers from relying on overly restrictive notions of what (...) philosophy is and the ways in which it occurs. A goal of the article is to articulate the phenomenological suppositions embedded in the very concept of film-as-philosophy, particularly insofar as the concept seems to assume a phenomenological model that unites screen and viewer. I argue that the origins of the debate overlook the aspect in which films do not engage in philosophical activity completely in their own right, but that instead, this occurrence is essentially predicated upon the participative aspect of the viewer experience. In the course of summarizing each of the leading positions, I describe how the history of the debate has gradually anticipated an appreciation of the phenomenological manner in which screen and viewer co-instantiate philosophy’s occurrence through film. I defend Mulhall’s position and devote some space to drawing out the manner in which his argumentation regarding film-as-philosophy supposes a fundamental screen-viewer dynamic that is phenomenological in nature. (shrink)
Previously available as Volume 18 of the Gesamtausgabe [ GA], this text contains a lecture course delivered by Heidegger at Marburg during the summer of 1924. Metcalf and Tanzer's translation is its first appearance in English. The editor of this volume in the Gesamtausgabe reports that only a fraction of Heidegger's original course material survives in manuscript form. As a result, much of the text does not originate from Heidegger's own hand. The bulk of it represents a transcription of the (...) lecture course based on multiple independently-recorded, complete sets of student notes in conjunction with Heidegger's extant course papers. However, the resulting text reads as continuously as Heidegger's other better-preserved lecture courses from the 1920s, and should be regarded as a legitimate source for studying early Heidegger. Only the reproduction of Heidegger's notes for the course appears in rough outline form, comprising approximately 50 pages, so readers should not anticipate a text consisting entirely of abbreviated sketches as one sees, for instance, in the recently translated Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy. (shrink)