This paper explores the idea that popular narrative film can somehow contribute to our philosophical understanding. I identify a number of problems with this 'film as philosophy' thesis and argue that the capacity of film to contribute to philosophy is not as great as many authors think. Specifically, I argue that film can only offer genuinely distinctive insights into philosophical questions *about film* and explore Hitchcock's Rear Window as an example of this.
Philosophy of film without theory is a methodology that aims to motivate and legitimise the current and future development of a range of a-, non-, and anti-theoretical ways of working at the intersection of film and philosophy. We contrast philosophy of film without theory with the main traditions of theoretically orientated philosophy of film, as well as philosophically inflected film Theory and film-philosophy. We also draw attention to the range (...) of philosophical practices and pursuits that distinguish philosophy (in general) without theory and contemporary philosophy (in general) with its near ubiquitous theoretical presumption. The paper finishes with a brief introduction to the various contributions to this Special Issue of Aesthetic Investigations on Philosophy of Film Without Theory. (shrink)
Philosophy of Film: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge) provides a critical overview of the literature on eleven different issues in the philosophy of film, from "What is Film?" to "Can Film Do Philosophy?" It aims to provide an objective overview of the principal arguments on each side of the issues. The set of issues includes all of the most important topics as well as some that are less well represented in the discipline, such as (...) whether the power of cinema derives from its similarity to dreams. (shrink)
This chapter contrasts the broadly empirical, pluralist, and construction device–oriented approaches to film study of analytic philosophy of film with the broadly socially hermeneutic, artistically and politically avant-gardist stances of Continental film theory. Analytic philosophy of film has tended to focus on classic Hollywood films and continuity editing, in order to explore the achievements of these films as art, while Continental film theory frequently finds such films to be regressive and technically uninteresting. I (...) explore in detail the work of such analytically oriented film scholars as Cavell, Danto, Walton, Carroll, Wilson, Bordwell, Plantinga, and Wartenberg, among others, against the background of this broad divergence in styles of work. I conclude by suggesting possibilities of rapprochement between these two styles, possibilities that embrace both the insights of analytic philosophers concerning specific devices and effects of film construction and the insights of Continental theorists concerning human subject formation and human social, political, and artistic interests. (shrink)
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)
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.
Psychoanalytic treatments of film encounter difficulties resembling those that Plato faced when he criticized tragedy: uncertainty over which persons are the objects of theoretical scrutiny; the call for the theorist’s anhedonia; and confusion between unperceived cognitive processes and those that are unconscious because disavowed. The uncertainty over objects lets us sort psychoanalyses of film according to whether they assess a film’s maker, its characters, the work, or its audience. Each approach shows promise but also comes with problems. (...) Each approach also implies a stance on the refusal of pleasure. And the nature of the unconscious is always at stake. This survey of the field is sympathetic to the general enterprise but comments on the main objections that have arisen. (shrink)
Even though philosophy of film is a relatively small and relatively young philosophical subfield, I argue that it is well worth a dedicated undergraduate course. I outline such a course below, with reference to particular anthologies of readings and a corresponding list of central topics. I recommend adopting a broad conception of film, to include moving image works in a range of formats and technological media, as well as an inclusive approach to philosophizing about film, one (...) that draws on the history of film theory, both the analytic and the continental philosophical traditions, critical race theory, and feminist theory. The aim of a philosophy of film course is to hone students’ philosophical skills in the service of a deeper appreciation of the art of moving images. (shrink)
Although Gregory Currie is often presented as a strong defender of empathic simulation as part of spectator engagement, this paper questions the importance of empathy in Currie's philosophy of film. Currie's account of the imagination is too propositional, and his account of a more sensuous and experiential kind of imagining is found wanting. While giving a convincing account of impersonal imagining in relation to fiction film, Currie does not sufficiently explain what empathy is, and what relation it (...) has to other forms of imagining. Simulation is primarily defined as impersonal, and perhaps more importantly, as conceptual and propositional in Currie's writings. This is perhaps most evident in his critique of personal imagining, where imagining seeing or imagining being becomes a self-reflexive form of imagining where the spectator also conceptualizes ‘I’ and ‘see’. This paper discusses the relation between personal imagining and empathy in Currie's account, and argues that he fails to show how empathy is of secondary importance for engagement in fiction film. (shrink)
Examines the overlap between film and philosophy in three distinct ways: epistemological issues in film-making and viewing; aesthetic theory and film; and film as a medium of philosophical expression. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
Designed for classroom use, this authoritative anthology presents key selections from the best contemporary work in philosophy of film. The featured essays have been specially chosen for their clarity, philosophical depth, and consonance with the current move towards cognitive film theory Eight sections with introductions cover topics such as the nature of film, film as art, documentary cinema, narration and emotion in film, film criticism, and film's relation to knowledge and morality Issues (...) addressed include the objectivity of documentary films, fear of movie monsters, and moral questions surrounding the viewing of pornography Replete with examples and discussion of moving pictures throughout. (shrink)
Pack includes 2 titles from the popular Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies Series: _ _ Philosophy of Literature_: Contemporary and Classic Readings_ _Edited by Eileen John and Dominic McIver Lopes ISBN: 9781405112086 _ Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures_: An Anthology _Edited by No ë l Carroll and Jinhee Choi ISBN: 9781405120272.
With a foreword by Jean-Luc Nancy -/- Philosophy and the Patience of Film presents a comparative study of the work of Jean-Luc Nancy and Stanley Cavell. It discusses the effect of their philosophical engagement with film, and proposes that the interaction between philosophy and film produces a power of patience capable of turning our negation of the world into a relation with it. -/- Through detailed readings of cinematic works ranging from Hollywood classics to contemporary (...) Iranian cinema, this book describes the interaction between film and philosophy as a productive friction from which the concept of patience emerges as a demand for thinking. -/- Daniele Rugo explains how Nancy and Cavell’s relationship with film demands the surrendering of philosophical mastery, and that it is precisely this act in view of the world that brings Cavell and Nancy to the study of film. While clarifying the nature of their engagement with film this book suggests that film does not represent the world, but ‘realizes’ it. This realization provides a scene of instruction for philosophy. (shrink)
This volume advances the contemporary debate on five central issues in the philosophy of film. These issues concern the relation between the art and technology of film, the nature of film realism, how narrative fiction films narrate, how we engage emotionally with films, and whether films can philosophize. Two new essays by leading figures in the field present different views on each issue. The paired essays contain significant points of both agreement and disagreement; new theories and (...) frameworks are proposed at the same time as authors review the current state of debate. Given their combination of richness and clarity, the essays in this volume can effectively engage both students, undergraduate or graduate, and academic researchers. (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)
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.
In his recently published book _Reading the Figural, or, Philosophy after the New Media_, D. N. Rodowick introduces the figural into the analysis of film and new media. The book contains revised versions of already published articles written in the 1980s and 1990s,  together with new material, and takes us on a journey through film theory and new media technologies to draw out the power of figuration in the coming digital age. Recognizing the 'tectonic shift' (205)currently (...) taking place from an analog to a digital culture, Rodowick convincingly argues that we need a set of new concepts and strategies capable of engaging with new media forms and effects, in order to develop 'creative strategies of resistance' (xvi) as part of a 'critical genealogy that may liberate new concepts for critiquing the permeation of capital into all areas of cultural experience'. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Jean-François Lyotard's work remains a largely untapped resource for film-philosophy. This article surveys four fundamental concepts which indicate the fecundity of this work for current studies and debates. While Lyotard was generally associated with the “theory” of the 1980s which privileged language, signs, and cultural representations, much of his work in fact resonates more strongly with the new materialisms and realisms currently taking centre stage. The concepts examined here indicate the relevance of Lyotard's work in four related contemporary (...) contexts: the renewed interest in the dispositif, new materialism, the affective turn, and speculative realism. The concept of the dispositif is being rehabilitated in the contemporary context because it shows a way beyond the limiting notion of mise en scène which has dominated approaches to film, and Lyotard's prevalent use of this concept feeds into this renewal. While matter is not an explicit theme in Lyotard's writings on film, it is nevertheless one at the heart of his aesthetics, and it may be extended for application to film. Affect was an important theme for Lyotard in many contexts, including his approaches to film, where it appears to subvert film's “seductive” effects. Finally, the Real emerges as a central concept in Lyotard's last essay on cinema, where, perhaps surprisingly, it intimates something close to a speculative realist aesthetics. Each of the fundamental concepts of Lyotard's film-philosophy are introduced in the context of the current fields and debates to which they are relevant, and are discussed with filmic examples, including Michael Snow's La Région centrale, Roberto Rossellini's Stromboli, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, and neo-realist cinema. (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is the critique of poststructuralist theory of art, and particularly thesis about the avant-garde peace of art as a kind of transgression. As a starting point of this critique, the ordinary language philosophy developed by American philosopher Stanley Cavell is used, particularly his film theory. While poststructuralist philosophy was developed around the notion of ideology, Cavell interprets film and arts in general around the notion of skepticism. While poststructuralism, because of (...) thesis about avant-garde as a kind of transgression within the field of ideology, is a kind of philosophy of negation, we point out that Cavell?s philosophy is a utopian theory of transcending of skepticism where avant-garde film has significant but not crucial place. Cavell?s thesis is used as a basis for re-thinking of modernism, which is in opposition to postmodernist turn realized by poststructuralism. nema. (shrink)
Perhaps nowhere in the broad expanse of types of film is the old “quarrel between philosophy and poetry” more evident—and also more vitally relevant—than in the genre or mode of film known as documentary. Documentary film is just another form of poetic imitation, in its variety of instances and complexity of fabrication, it is just as much caught up with the limitations—and effects—of mimetic art, including fiction film. This book affords a prismatic perspective on documentary (...) cinema, inviting the dynamism and diversity of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and even natural sciences together into a shared conversation. (shrink)
Over the last century within the philosophy of mind, the intersubjective model of self has gained traction as a viable alternative to the oft-criticised Cartesian solipsistic paradigm. These two models are presented as incompatible inasmuch as Cartesians perceive other minds as “a problem” for the self, while intersubjectivists insist that sociality is foundational to selfhood. This essay uses the Paranormal Activity series (2007–2015) to explore this philosophical debate. It is argued that these films simultaneously evoke Cartesian premises (via found-footage (...) camerawork), and intersubjectivity (via an ongoing narrative structure that emphasises connections between the characters, and between each film). The philosophical debates illuminate premises on which the series’ story and horror depends. Moreover, Paranormal Activity also sheds light on the theoretical debate: the series brings those two paradigms together into a coherent whole, thereby suggesting that the two models are potentially compatible. By developing a combined model, scholars working in the philosophy of mind might better account for the different aspects of self-experience these paradigms focus on. (shrink)
Since their publication, these books have had a profound impact on the study of film and philosophy. Film, media, and cultural studies scholars still grapple today with how they can most productively incorporate Deleuze's thought.
The article discusses the relation between the paradigmatic status of film and use of film analogies in the psychoanalytic discourse on society and culture by Slavoj Zizek, which represents the very ground of his philosophical discourse in general. In the first part, starting with a recent discussion by different English and American scholars on controversial aspects of Slavoj Zizek?s activity in academia and on a broader public scene, the paper discusses on some parallel examples and inherent motivators of (...) the form-content controversy in philosophy and pop-culture as well as Zizek?s interpretation of his position. In the second part, the article discusses Zizek?s sporadic meta-reflection on exemplification and provides arguments for the thesis that, in Zizek, on the ground of his ontology of the virtual, one encounters a double conception of?inherence? between instance and principle, its consequence is a shift in the use of film examples from analogy of objects to analogy of analyses, which invents a typical conflict between the metonymic and metaphorical evasion of discourse. On this background, the article reexamines the general contention against Zizek of a?virtual totalitarianism? without contingency of meaning and sense, and points to the position of the subject without discourse as another ground for the condition of analysis of truth. In the third part, the paper analyses and evaluates Zizek?s own understanding of his cinematographic illustrations and his peculiar, performing and self-referential, method of resolving the epistemological problem of film interpretation through imaginary identification or?empathy? with film objects. In the fourth part, the paper discusses the apparent asymmetry between Zizek?s application of psychoanalytic doctrines onto film criticism, on one side, and, on the other, his little elaborated apotheosis of so-called?cinematic materialism?. It is argued that this asymmetry ultimately causes what Zizek rejects in principle: a substitution of materialism and contingency of truth-search for a holism of sense. Consequently this seems to turn the psychoanalytic discourse on cinematography into a hermeneutic one. Clanak raspravlja o odnosu izmedju paradigmatskog statusa filma i upotrebe filmskih analogija u psihoanalitickom diskursu filozofije Slavoja Zizeka koji cini temelj njegovog kritickog diskursa o drustvu i kulturi uopce. U prvom dijelu, polazeci od novijih rasprava medju nekolicinom engleskih i americkih sveucilisnih intelektualaca o kontroverznim vidovima djelovanja Slavoja Zizeka u akademskoj zajednici i na siroj javnoj sceni, u prvom dijelu clanka prikazuju se neki usporedni primjeri i unutrasnji pokretaci kontroverzije sadrzaj-forma u filozofiji i pop-kulturi te Zizekovo razumijevanje te kontroverzije. U drugom dijelu raspravlja se o Zizekovim sporadicnim refleksijama o meta-egzemplifikaciji i obrazlaze teza da kod Zizeka, na pretpostavkama ontologije virtualnog, presutno djeluje dvostruka, paradigmatska i analogijska, koncepcija inherencije u odnosu primjera i principa te zamjena analogije predmet? analogijom analiz?, sto stvara tipican konflikt izmedju metonimijske i metaforicke evazivnosti diskursa. Na toj pozadini vrednuje se ponovo opci prigovor protiv Zizeka o?virtualnom totalitarizmu? lisenom kontingencije smisla i ukazuje na mjesto subjekta izvan diskursa kao druge osnove za analizu uvjeta istinitosti. U trecem dijelu ispituje se i metodoloski vrednuje Zizekovo vlastito razumijevanje njegovog postupka filmske ilustracije i njegovo osebujno performativno razrjesenje epistemoloskog problema filmske interpretacije kroz montazu imaginarne identifikacije ili?empatije? s filmskim objektima, koje s?m naziva?perverzijom? ili?ljubavlju?. U cetvrtom dijelu analizira se ocigledni nesrazmjer izmedju Zizekove primjene doktrinarnih zaliha psihoanalize u kritici kinematografije, s jedne strane, i njegove teorijski oskudno razradjene apoteoze?kinematickog materijalizma?. Argumentira se da taj nerazmjer donosi u rezultatu ono sto Zizek odbija u nacelu: supstituciju materijalizma analize i kontingencije uvjeta u potrazi za istinskom holistickom koncepcijom smisla, sto, u konzekvenciji, izokrece psihoanaliticki diskurs o kinematografiji u hermeneuticki. (shrink)
The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze was one of the most innovative and revolutionary thinkers of the twentieth century. Author of more than twenty books on literature, music, and the visual arts, Deleuze published the first volume of his two-volume study of film, _Cinema 1: The Movement-Image_, in 1983 and the second volume, _Cinema 2: The Time-Image_, in 1985. Since their publication, these books have had a profound impact on the study of film and philosophy. Film, media, (...) and cultural studies scholars still grapple today with how they can most productively incorporate Deleuze's thought. The first new collection of critical studies on Deleuze's cinema writings in nearly a decade, _Afterimages of Gilles Deleuze's Film Philosophy_ provides original essays that evaluate the continuing significance of Deleuze's film theories, accounting systematically for the ways in which they have influenced the investigation of contemporary visual culture and offering new directions for research. Contributors: Raymond Bellour, Centre Nationale de Recherches Scientifiques; Ronald Bogue, U of Georgia; Giuliana Bruno, Harvard U; Ian Buchanan, Cardiff U; James K. Chandler, U of Chicago; Tom Conley, Harvard U; Amy Herzog, CUNY; András Bálint Kovács, Eötvös Loránd U; Patricia MacCormack, Anglia Ruskin U; Timothy Murray, Cornell U; Dorothea Olkowski, U of Colorado; John Rajchman, Columbia U; Marie-Claire Ropars-Wuilleumier, U Paris VIII; Garrett Stewart, U of Iowa; Damian Sutton, Glasgow School of Art; Melinda Szaloky, UC Santa Barbara. (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.
Why might interdependence, the idea that we are made up of our relations, be horrifying? Philosophy, Film, and the Dark Side of Interdependence argues that philosophy can outline the contours of the dark spectre, and that film can shine a light on its shadowy details, together revealing a horror of relations.
"ScreenPlay" is the first collection of essays devoted to exploring the relationship between cinema and video games. It attempts to introduce the field of video game studies while also increasing our understanding of the two artforms. Although not all of the essays are models of clear thinking on the subject, the volume will be a valuable resource for those working in film, philosophy, new media, and video game studies. Geoff King and Tanya Krzywinska have brought together a diverse (...) collection of essays where the productive approaches stand out clearly. As a result, one of the most important achievements of the volume is that it allows us to compare methodologies in order to see the kinds of research programs that add the most to our understanding of moving pictures. (shrink)
Introduction : schizoanalysis, digital screens and new brain circuits -- Schizoid minds, delirium cinema and powers of machines of the invisible -- Illusionary perception and powers of the false -- Surveillance screens and powers of affect -- Signs of time : meta/physics of the brain-screen -- Degrees of belief : epistemology of probabilities -- Powers of creation : aesthetics of material-force -- The open archive : cinema as world-memory -- Divine in(ter)vention : micropolitics and resistance -- Logistics of perception 2.0 (...) : multiple screens as affective weapons -- Conclusion : the neuro-image : brain-screens from the future. (shrink)
Recently, scholars in a variety of disciplines—including philosophy, film and media studies, and literary studies—have become interested in the aesthetics, definition, and ontology of the screenplay. To this end, this volume addresses the fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of the screenplay: What is a screenplay? Is the screenplay art—more specifically, literature? What kind of a thing is a screenplay? Nannicelli argues that the screenplay is a kind of artefact; as such, its boundaries are determined collectively by screenwriters, (...) and its ontological nature is determined collectively by both writers and readers of screenplays. Any plausible philosophical account of the screenplay must be strictly constrained by our collective creative and appreciative practices, and must recognize that those practices indicate that at least some screenplays are artworks. (shrink)