Philosophy of Film

Edited by Aaron Smuts (Rhode Island College)
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  1. Sonic Pictures.Jason Leddington - forthcoming - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.
    Winning essay of the American Society for Aesthetics' inaugural Peter Kivy Prize. Extends Kivy's notion of sonic picturing through engagement with recent work in philosophy of perception. Argues that sonic pictures are more widespread and more aesthetically and artistically important than even Kivy envisioned. Topics discussed include: the nature of sonic pictures; the nature of sounds; what we can (and more importantly, cannot) conclude from musical listening; sonic pictures in film; beatboxing as an art of sonic picturing; and cover songs (...)
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  2. Susan Buck-Morss – Voz filosófica que, sin duda, necesita ser escuchada.Montserrat Crespin Perales - 2017 - UOC-ARTS I HUMANITATS.
    Filosofía con imágenes, imágenes con filosofía Estanterías, libros, novedades editoriales…y muchas veces un sentimiento de desasosiego frente a nombres y grupos de novísimos filósofos y filósofas de los que no se sabe si, con el tiempo, pasarán a olvidarse como estrellas fugaces o serán constelaciones duraderas. Y, entre el cambio de estaciones, de modas y catálogos, algún nombre que se descubre por casualidad y que pasa a formar parte personal de aquellas voces filosóficas que, sin duda, necesitan ser escuchadas, a (...)
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  3. Using Gattaca to Teach Genetic Discrimination.Peter Murphy - 2009 - Film and Philosophy 1 (13):65-76.
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  4. Introduction: The Place of Beauty in Contemporary Aesthetics.Ingrid Vendrell Ferran & Wolfgang Huemer - 2019 - In Wolfgang Huemer & Íngrid Vendrell Ferran (eds.), Beauty. New Essays in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. München, Deutschland:
    The notion of beauty has endured a troublesome history over the last few decades. While for centuries beauty has been considered one of the central values of art, there have also been times when it seemed old-fashioned to even mention the term. The present volume aims to explore the nature of beauty and to shed light its place in contemporary philosphy and art practice.
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  5. El Infierno y Salvando al soldado Pérez. Entre el realismo macabro y el ridículo mágico.Mario Edmundo Chávez Tortolero - 2019 - In Carlos Oliva Mendoza & Luis Guillermo Martínez Gutiérrez (eds.), Cine mexicano y filosofía. Editorial Itaca.
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  6. Espectadores, gigantes e infancia: Jean-Jacques Rousseau y Víctor Erice.Byron Davies - 2018 - Correspondencias. Cine y Pensamiento.
    Spanish translation, with some additions, of "Spectators and Giants in Rousseau and Víctor Erice.".
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  7. Spectators and Giants in Rousseau and Víctor Erice.Byron Davies - 2016
    This essay explores how some themes in the writing of Jean-Jacques Rousseau—particularly having to do with what it is to be a spectacle before others—might illuminate two feature films by the Spanish director Víctor Erice, The Spirit of the Beehive (El espíritu de la colmena, 1973) and El sur (1983).
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  8. Decalogue Five: A Short Film About Killing, Sin, and Community.Michael Baur - 2016 - In Eva Badowska & Francesca Parmeggiani (eds.), Of Elephants and Toothaches: Ethics, Politics, and Religion in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue. New York, NY, USA: Fordham University. pp. 122-139.
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  9. We All Need Mirrors to Remind Us Who We Are: Inherited Meaning and Inherited Selves in Memento.Michael Baur - 2005 - In Paul Tudico & Kimberly Blessing (eds.), Movies and the Meaning of Life: Philosophers Take On Hollywood. Chicago, IL, USA: Open Court Publishing Company. pp. 94-110.
    The movie Memento (2000) broaches several interrelated philosophical questions concerning human knowledge, personal identity, and the human search for meaning. For example, is our knowledge based mainly on conclusions reached through our own reason, or is it based instead on habituation and conditioning brought about by forces outside of us? What is the role that memory plays in our knowledge? Furthermore, what is the relationship between memory and personal identity? And what is the relationship between memory, personal identity, and the (...)
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  10. Moonstruck, or How to Ruin Everything.William Day - 2003 - In Kenneth Dauber & Walter Jost (eds.), Ordinary Language Criticism: Literary Thinking after Cavell after Wittgenstein. Evanston, IL, USA: Northwestern University Press. pp. 315-328.
    A reading of the film Moonstruck (1987) is presented in two movements. The first aligns Moonstruck with certain Hollywood film comedies of the 1930s and 40s, those Stanley Cavell calls comedies of remarriage. The second turns to some aspects of Emerson's writing – in particular his interest in our relation to human greatness, and his coinciding interest in our relation to the words of a text – and shows how Moonstruck inherits these Emersonian, essentially philosophical interests.
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  11. Moonstruck, or How to Ruin Everything.William Day - 1995 - Philosophy and Literature 19 (2):292-307.
    A reading of the film Moonstruck (1987) is presented in two movements. The first aligns Moonstruck with certain Hollywood film comedies of the 1930s and 40s, those Stanley Cavell calls comedies of remarriage. The second turns to some aspects of Emerson's writing – in particular his interest in our relation to human greatness, and his coinciding interest in our relation to the words of a text – and shows how Moonstruck inherits these Emersonian, essentially philosophical interests.
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  12. The Ecstasy of Time Travel in Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams.William Day - 2017 - In David LaRocca (ed.), The Philosophy of Documentary Film: Image, Sound, Fiction, Truth. Lanham, MD 20706, USA: Lexington Books. pp. 209-224.
    Documentary film is that genre of filmmaking that lays bare the fact of all film, which is that it presents "a world past" (Cavell, The World Viewed). This fact of film seems to point to a paradox of time in our experience of movies: we are present at something that has happened, something that is over. But what if we were to take this fact to show that film has the power to place us outside our ordinary, unreflective relation to (...)
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  13. Time-Traveling Image: Gilles Deleuze on Science-Fiction Film.Joshua M. Hall - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 50 (4):31-44.
    The first section of this article focuses on the treatment of “time travel” in science-fiction literature and film as presented in the secondary literature in that field. The first anthology I will consider has a metaphysical focus, including (a) relating the time travel of science fiction to the banal time travel of all living beings, as we move inexorably toward the future; and (b) arguing for the filmstrip as the ultimate metaphor for time. The second anthology I will consider has (...)
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  14. Whence Did German Propaganda Films Derive Their Power?Gary James Jason - 2016 - Reason Papers 38 (1).
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  15. Screen Performers Playing Themselves.Matthew Crippen - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):163-177.
    Whereas recent commentators have suggested that consumer demand, typecasting and marketing lead performers to maintain continuities across films, I argue that cinema has historically made it difficult to subtract performers from roles, leading to relatively constant comportment, and that casting, marketing and audience preference are not only causes but also effects of this. I do so using thought experiments and empirical experiments, for example, by pondering why people say they see Jesus in paintings of him and rarely mention models, but (...)
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  16. Purity and Provocation Dogma 95.Mette Hjort & Scott Mackenzie - 2003
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  17. Same Old New German Cinema, on Julia Knight's New German Cinema: Images of a Generation.Amresh Sinha - 2005 - Film-Philosophy 9 (2).
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  18. Shawn C. Bean (2008) The First Hollywood: Florida and the Golden Age of Silent Filmmaking. [REVIEW]Carrie Giunta - 2013 - Film-Philosophy 17 (1):501-502.
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  19. Luc Dardenne, Au Dos de Nos Images (1991-2005), Suivi de Le Fils Et L'Enfant Par Jean-Pierre Et Luc Dardenne.Joseph Mai - 2007 - Film-Philosophy 11 (1):70-74.
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  20. Undoing the Image: Film Theory and Psychoanalysis.Paula Quigley - 2011 - Film-Philosophy 15 (1):13-32.
    The primary aim of this article is to point up an essential attitude, an anxiety even, that has inflected – and perhaps inhibited - our engagement with film. Film theory has been marked by a ‘refusal to see, a looking away’ (Mulvey & Wollen 1976, 36), and my suggestion is that this has achieved its fullest expression in those strands of film theory heavily influenced by psychoanalysis. These, in turn, have remained within a gendered conceptual framework whereby the discursive or (...)
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  21. The Return of the New Flesh: Body Memory in David Cronenberg and Merleau-Ponty.Dylan Trigg - 2011 - Film-Philosophy 15 (1):82-99.
    From the “psychoplasmic” offspring in The Brood (1979) to the tattooed encodings in Eastern Promises (2007), David Cronenberg presents a compelling vision of embodiment, which challenges traditional accounts of personal identity and obliges us to ask how human beings persist through different times, places, and bodily states while retaining their sameness. Traditionally, the response to this question has emphasised the importance of cognitive memory in securing the continuity of consciousness. But what has been underplayed in this debate is the question (...)
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  22. La Beauté Tragique: Olkowski, Deleuze, and the Ruin of Representation. [REVIEW]Joseph Nechvatal - 2001 - Film-Philosophy 5 (2).
    Dorothea Olkowski _Gilles Deleuze and the Ruin of Representation_ Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999 ISBN 0-520-21693-8 298 pp.
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  23. The Picture of Abjection: Film, Fetish, and the Nature of Difference by Chanter, Tina. [REVIEW]Russell Ford - 2010 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (1):79-81.
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  24. A Number of Scenes in a Badly Cut Film" : Observation in the Age of Strobe.Jimena Canales - 2011 - In Lorraine Daston & Elizabeth Lunbeck (eds.), Histories of Scientific Observation. University of Chicago Press.
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Values in Film
  1. The Value of Fidelity in Adaptation.James Harold - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (1):89-100.
    © British Society of Aesthetics 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society of Aesthetics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comThe adaptation of literary works into films has been almost completely neglected as a philosophical topic. I discuss two questions about this phenomenon:What do we mean when we say that a film is faithful to its source?Is being faithful to its source a merit in a film adaptation?In response to, I set out two distinct (...)
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The Art of Film
  1. Кіно у творчості Василя Герасим’юка.Myroslav Laiuk - 2018 - NaUKMA Researh Papers. Literary Studies 1:70-73.
    У статті досліджено роль кіно у творчості Василя Герасим’юка. Простежено особливості використання кінематографічних прийомів, проаналізовано цитування кінокласики, розкрито значення постаті І. Миколайчука у текстах В. Герасим’юка. Розглянуто вплив «поетичного кіно» і особливо стрічки «Тіні забутих предків» на формування «карпатського тексту» поета.
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Medium Specificity in Film
  1. Was hat Musik im Film zu suchen?Andreas Dorschel - 2005 - In Tonspuren. Musik im Film: Fallstudien 1994 - 2001. Universal Edition. pp. 12-21.
    Attempts to bestow a musical background upon spoken drama have been deemed widely superfluous; most films, by way of contrast, do employ music. This aesthetic divergence invites an account of film music in terms of lack and compensation. The standard account in such terms, viz. that music has to fill the vacuum of silence, does not explain what it is supposed to explain. Rather, music in cinema can restore in a different way the expression lost as reality is reduced to (...)
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  2. Cinematic.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 23 (46):78-95.
    Is cinematicity a virtue in film? Is lack of cinematicity a defect? Berys Gaut thinks so. He claims that cinematicity is a pro tanto virtue in film. I disagree. I argue that the term “cinematic” principally refers to some cluster of characteristics found in films featuring the following: expansive scenery, extreme depth of field, high camera positioning, and elaborate tracking shots. We often use the word as a term of praise. And we are likely right to do so. We are (...)
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Film and Morality
  1. Travolta’s Elvis-Man and the Nietzschean Superman.Ian Schnee & Bence Nanay - 2007 - In K. Silem Mohammad & Richard Greene (eds.), Quentin Tarantino and Philosophy. Chicago: Open Court.
    Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction and the Nietzschian Superman!!!
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  2. Пропаганда у сучасному російському кінематографі.Vladyslav Levytskyi - 2017 - NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture 191:29-32.
    Статтю присвячено розгляду пропаганди у сучасному російському кінематографі. Зроблено спробу оглянути і порівняти обмежену вибірку фільмів 2009–2014 рр., показати прийоми пропаганди і їх зв’язок між внутрішньою та зовнішньою політикою Російської Федерації.
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  3. There's Something About Marla: Fight Club and the Engendering of Self-Respect.Cynthia Stark - 2012 - In Thomas E. Wartenberg (ed.), Fight Club. New York, NY, USA: pp. 51-77.
    My article discusses the character of Marla, the narrator’s lover, in the film Fight Club. Her only option, within the terms of the film’s logic, I argue, is to define her worth derivatively, by association with the narrator. Fight Club, then, despite its somewhat self-effacing attitude about the rejuvenation of masculinity that it portrays, reinforces a familiar patriarchal story: men’s sense of worth lies in their joint world-making activities. Women’s sense of worth lies in their attachment to individual men who (...)
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  4. An Apocalypse of Pop, Pt II: Vox Lux.Paul Bali - manuscript
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  5. A Double-Edged Sword: Honor in "The Duellists".James Edwin Mahon - 2013 - In Alan Barkman, Ashley Barkman & Nancy King (eds.), The Culture and Philosophy of Ridley Scott. Lexington Books. pp. 45-60.
    In this essay I argue that Ridley Scott's first feature film, The Duelists, which is an adaptation of a Joseph Conrad novella, contains his deepest meditation on honor in his entire career. The film may be said to answer the following question about honor: is being bound to do something by honor, when it is contrary to one's self-interest, a good thing, or a bad thing? It may be said to give the answer that it may be either good or (...)
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  6. All's Fair in Love and War? Machiavelli and Ang Lee's "Ride With the Devil".James Edwin Mahon - 2013 - In Robert Arp, Adam Barkman & Nancy King (eds.), The Philosophy of Ang Lee. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 265-290.
    In this chapter I argue that Machiavelli does not hold that all deception is permissible in war. While Machiavelli claims that "deceit... in the conduct of war is laudable and honorable," he insists that such deceit, or ruses of war, is not to be confounded with perfidy. Any Lee's U.S. Civil War film, "Ride With the Devil," illustrates this difference. The film also illustrates the difference between lying as part of romance, which is permitted, and lying at the moment of (...)
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  7. Star Trek: Into Darkness—Ethical Impartiality, Partiality, and the Need for a Male/Female Synthesis.Jeremy Delong - 2015 - Film and Philosophy 19:141-63.
    This paper analyzes the ethical themes and theory portrayals by particular characters in Star Trek: Into Darkness. It is concluded that the film can be understood as explicating the pros and cons of both "male" and "female" ethical perspectives, and that a comprehensive understanding of morality requires some synthesis of both perspectives.
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  8. Buster Keaton and the Puzzle of Love.Timothy Yenter - 2015 - In Ken Morefield & Nick Olson (eds.), Masters of World Cinema, Vol. 3. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 31-43.
    Despite the notable lack of Chaplinesque romantic flourishes, Buster Keaton has a sophisticated approach to romantic love in his films. Love in Keaton’s films is a mutual recognition and admiration for the physical and mental competence necessary to deal with an absurd, cruel, or indifferent social and physical environment and an agreement to face the world together. There are two ways in which this claim might seem surprising to someone familiar with Keaton’s films. Keaton’s famously stoic persona seems to be (...)
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  9. A Life Not Worth Living.Jami L. Anderson - 2014 - In David P. Pierson (ed.), Breaking Bad: Critical Essays on the Contexts, Politics, Style, and Reception of the Television Series. Lexington Press. pp. 103-118.
    What is so striking about Breaking Bad is how centrally impairment and disability feature in the lives of the characters of this series. It is unusual for a television series to cast characters with visible or invisible impairments. On the rare occasions that television shows do have characters with impairments, these characters serve no purpose other than to contribute to their ‘Otherness.’ Breaking Bad not only centralizes impairment, but impairment drives and sustains the story lines. I use three interrelated themes (...)
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  10. Happy-Go-Lucky Revisited: A Response to Basileios Kroustallis.Christopher Grau - 2015 - Film-Philosophy 19 (1):1-15.
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  11. Philosophy of Disability.Christine A. James - 2008 - Essays in Philosophy 9 (1):1-10.
    Disability has been a topic of heightened philosophical interest in the last 30 years. Disability theory has enriched a broad range of sub-specializations in philosophy. The call for papers for this issue welcomed papers addressing questions on normalcy, medical ethics, public health, philosophy of education, aesthetics, philosophy of sport, philosophy of religion, and theories of knowledge. This issue of Essays in Philosophy includes nine essays that approach the philosophy of disability in three distinct ways: The first set of three essays (...)
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Film Evaluation, Misc
  1. Кіно у творчості Василя Герасим’юка.Myroslav Laiuk - 2018 - NaUKMA Researh Papers. Literary Studies 1:70-73.
    У статті досліджено роль кіно у творчості Василя Герасим’юка. Простежено особливості використання кінематографічних прийомів, проаналізовано цитування кінокласики, розкрито значення постаті І. Миколайчука у текстах В. Герасим’юка. Розглянуто вплив «поетичного кіно» і особливо стрічки «Тіні забутих предків» на формування «карпатського тексту» поета.
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  2. Філософія кіно, метод моделювання та проблема декадентського кінотвору.Olga Kirillova - 2018 - NaUKMA Research Papers. History and Theory of Culture 1:17-23.
    Статтю присвячено реконструкції узагальненої моделі твору декадентського кінематографа як стилізованого кінематографа moderne, що є яскравим прикладом застосування філософської інтерпретації до кінематографа і феномену кінореальності. Ця модель має такі рівні: морфологічний, стилістичний, інтертекстуальний, ритмічний, аудіальний, тактильний, монтажний, специфічно-антропологічний і специфічно-наративний.
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Ontology of Film
  1. L'immagine-inazione. Lo spazio e il tempo nel passaggio dall'image-mouvement all'image-temps in Gilles Deleuze.Fabio Vergine - 2019 - In Enrico Giannetto (ed.), La memoria del cielo. Catania CT, Italia: pp. 1-18.
    Nella sua riflessione filosofica sull’immagine filmica Gilles Deleuze sembra aver tradotto nella maniera più immediata, ancorché insolubilmente problematica, la presenza di uno spazio e di un tempo che giocano il proprio ruolo su di una forma passiva di soggettività: è proprio ne L’image- mouvement, infatti, che Deleuze mostra come uno dei passaggi più proficui delle sue osservazioni sul cinema sia proprio la crisi di ciò che egli definisce immagine-azione, a favore, invece, di un’immagine-tempo, o situazione ottica e sonora pura. Per (...)
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  2. Towards a Science of Emerging Media.Barry Smith - 2015 - In J. E. Katz & J. Floyd (eds.), Philosophy of Emerging Media: Understanding, Appreciation and Application. Oxford University Press. pp. 29-48.
    If media studies are to become established as a genuine science, then it needs to be determined what the subject matter of this science is to be. I propose a specification of this subject matter as consisting in: 1. the new sorts of digital entities that have been added to social reality through the invention of the digital computer, and 2. the new sorts of interactions involving human beings which such entities make possible. I support this proposal by examining examples (...)
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Film Authorship
  1. Mechanical Recording In Arnheim’s Film As Art.Yvan Tétreault - 2008 - Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 5 (1):16-26.
    In his classic Film as Art, Rudolf Arnheim sets out to refute the claim that “Film cannot be art, for it does nothing but reproduce reality mechanically”.1 The usual argument in favor of that claim, he explains, contrasts film with realist painting, and goes something like this: There’s no doubt that what appears on the canvas depends on the way the painter sees the world, on her particular technique, on the colors she’s using, and so on. It is elements like (...)
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  2. Minimal Authorship (of Sorts).Christy Mag Uidhir - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (3):373 - 387.
    I propose a minimal account of authorship that specifies the fundamental nature of the author-relation and its minimal domain composition in terms of a three-place causal-intentional relation holding between agents and sort-relative works. I contrast my account with the minimal account tacitly held by most authorship theories, which is a two-place relation holding between agents and works simpliciter. I claim that only my view can ground productive and informative principled distincitons between collective production and collective authorship.
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Movement in Film
  1. Seeing Motion and Apparent Motion.Christoph Hoerl - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):676-702.
    In apparent motion experiments, participants are presented with what is in fact a succession of two brief stationary stimuli at two different locations, but they report an impression of movement. Philosophers have recently debated whether apparent motion provides evidence in favour of a particular account of the nature of temporal experience. I argue that the existing discussion in this area is premised on a mistaken view of the phenomenology of apparent motion and, as a result, the space of possible philosophical (...)
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Ontology of Film, Misc
  1. Mechanical Recording In Arnheim’s Film As Art.Yvan Tétreault - 2008 - Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 5 (1):16-26.
    In his classic Film as Art, Rudolf Arnheim sets out to refute the claim that “Film cannot be art, for it does nothing but reproduce reality mechanically”.1 The usual argument in favor of that claim, he explains, contrasts film with realist painting, and goes something like this: There’s no doubt that what appears on the canvas depends on the way the painter sees the world, on her particular technique, on the colors she’s using, and so on. It is elements like (...)
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  2. The Myth of Scotland as Nowhere in Particular.John Marmysz - 2014 - International Journal of Scottish Theatre and Screen 7 (1):28-44.
    In a number of recent films, Scotland has served as the setting for dramas that could have taken place anywhere. This has occurred in two related ways: First, there are films such as Perfect Sense (2011) and Under the Skin (2013). These films involve storylines that, while they do take place in Scotland, do not require the country as a setting. Second, there are films such as Prometheus (2012),The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Cloud Atlas (2012), and World War Z (2013). (...)
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  3. Ariadne at the Movies.John Dilworth - 2003 - Contemporary Aesthetics 1.
    ABSTRACT -/- Films are usually assumed to be types, with their templates or performances being tokens of those types. However, I give a counter-example in which two different films are simultaneously made by different directors, with the outcome of this process being a single template length of film which, I claim, embodies both of those films. But no two types could thus have a token in common, and hence type views of films must be incorrect. I further explain and defend (...)
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  4. Ariadne Revisited.John Dilworth - 2003 - Contemporary Aesthetics 1.
    ABSTRACT -/- My article, "Ariadne at the Movies," provided a detailed, double film counter-example to the claim that films are types. Here I defend my views against various criticisms provided by Aaron Smuts. The defense includes some necessary clarification of the Ariadne article's broader theoretical structure and background, as well as some additional anti-type arguments to further withstand his criticisms.
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