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  1. added 2019-02-02
    Could a Heptapod Act? Language and Agency in Arrival.James Pearson - 2019 - Film and Philosophy 23:48-68.
    Arrival offers a useful thought experiment in the philosophy of mind and language. Assessing human linguists' interpretive efforts to understand the alien heptapod form of life in both the movie and the novella from which it was adapted (Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life”) teach us how our understanding of selfhood shapes our conception of agency. Arrival’s reflexive commentary on the cinematic experience is also an argument for the value of learning to communicate in cinematic language.
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  2. added 2018-10-27
    Can Films Philosophize? The Rationality and Imposition Objections.Diana Neiva - 2018 - Dialectic Journal 12 (I):22-29.
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  3. added 2017-06-14
    Cinephilia and Philosophia: Or, Why I Don't Show The Matrix in Philosophy 101.Timothy Yenter - 2017 - In Rashna Wadia Richards & David T. Johnson (eds.), For the Love of Cinema: Teaching Our Passion In and Outside the Classroom. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
    The shelves of film and philosophy books should have made it considerably easier to teach with films in introductory philosophy classes, and certainly many philosophers have found them useful. However, shortcomings of many of these pop culture volumes (which I discuss in the next section) make these works rarely useful in the classroom. I propose instead a new model for how to teach film in a philosophy class. The model develops the virtues inherent in cinephilia and connects those virtues to (...)
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  4. added 2016-12-05
    A View to a Kill: Perspectives on Faux-Snuff and Self.Steve Jones - 2016 - In Neil Jackson, Shaun Kimber, Johnny Walker & Thomas Watson (eds.), Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 277-294.
    Scholarly debate over faux-snuff’s content has predominantly focused on realism and affect. This paper seeks to offer an alternative interpretation, examining what faux-snuff’s form reveals about self. Faux-snuff is typically presented from a first-person perspective (killer-cam), and as such is foundationally invested in the killer’s experiences as they record their murder spree. First then, I propose that the simulated-snuff form reifies self-experience in numerous ways. Faux-snuff’s characteristic formal attributes capture the self’s limited, fractured qualities, for example. Second, I contend that (...)
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  5. added 2016-11-20
    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. added 2015-11-03
    Torture Pornopticon: (In)Security Cameras, Self-Governance and Autonomy.Steve Jones - 2015 - In Linnie Blake & Xavier Aldana Reyes (eds.), Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon. I.B. Tauris. pp. 29-41.
    ‘Torture porn’ films centre on themes of abduction, imprisonment and suffering. Within the subgenre, protagonists are typically placed under relentless surveillance by their captors. CCTV features in more than 45 contemporary torture-themed films (including Captivity, Hunger, and Torture Room). Security cameras signify a bridging point between the captors’ ability to observe and to control their prey. Founded on power-imbalance, torture porn’s prison-spaces are panoptical. Despite failing to encapsulate contemporary surveillance’s complexities (see Haggerty, 2011), the panopticon remains a dominant paradigm within (...)
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  7. added 2015-09-05
    Che cosa è soprannaturale?Andrea Guardo - 2013 - Itinera 6 (1):175-186.
    A popular article which discusses Woody Allen’s 1982 movie "A Midsummer’s Night Sex Comedy".
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  8. added 2014-12-27
    You Can't Choose Your Family: Impartial Morality and Personal Obligations in Alias.Brendan Shea - 2014 - In Patricia Brace & Robert Arp (eds.), The Philosophy of J.J. Abrams. The University Press of Kentucky. pp. 173-189.
    In this essay, I critically examine the ways in which the characters of Alias attempt to balance their impartial moral obligations (e.g. duties toward humanity) and their personal obligations (e.g. duties toward one's children). I specifically examine three areas of conflict: (1) choices between saving loved ones and maximizing consequences, (2) choices to maintain or sever relationships with characters who are vicious or immoral, and (3) choices to seek or not seek revenge on the behalf of loved ones. I conclude (...)
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  9. added 2014-12-16
    Why Moral Philosophers Should Watch Sci-Fi Movies.Nikil Mukerji - 2014 - In Fiorella Battaglia & Nathalie Weidenfeld (eds.), Roboethics in Film. Pisa University Press. pp. 79-92.
    In this short piece, I explore why we, as moral philosophers, should watch sci-fi movies. Though I do not believe that sci-fi material is ne- cessary for doing good moral philosophy, I give three broad reasons why good sci-fi movies should nevertheless be worth our time. These reasons lie in the fact that they can illustrate moral-philosophical pro- blems, probe into possible solutions and, perhaps most importantly, an- ticipate new issues that may go along with the use of new technologies. (...)
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  10. added 2014-11-28
    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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  11. added 2014-01-09
    The Philosophy of Film and Film as Philosophy.Tom McClelland - 2011 - Cinema 2:11-35.
    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.
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  12. added 2013-11-21
    Kantian Themes in The Elephant Man.Christopher Grau - 2015 - Film and Philosophy 19.
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  13. added 2013-06-16
    Philosophers on Film: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.Christopher Grau (ed.) - 2009 - Routledge.
    This is the first book to explore and address the philosophical aspects of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Beginning with a helpful introduction that places each essay in context, specially commissioned chapters examine the following topics: -/- * Philosophical issues surrounding love, friendship, affirmation and repetition * The role of memory (and the emotions) in personal identity and decision-making * The morality of imagination and ethical importance of memory * Philosophical questions about self-knowledge and knowing the minds of others (...)
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  14. added 2012-12-15
    Dossier Chris Marker: The Suffering Image.Gavin Keeney - 2012 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    This study firstly addresses three threads in Chris Marker’s work – theology, Marxism, and Surrealism – through a mapping of the work of both Giorgio Agamben and Jacques Derrida onto the varied production of his film and photographic work. Notably, it is late Agamben and late Derrida that is utilized, as both began to exit so-called post-structuralism proper with the theological turn in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It addresses these threads through the means to ends employed and as (...)
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  15. added 2012-08-30
    Film as Thought Experiment: A Happy-Go-Lucky Case?Basileios Kroustallis - 2012 - Film-Philosophy 16 (1):72-84.
    Can some films be genuine thought experiments that challenge our commonsense intuitions? Certain filmic narratives and their mise-en-scène details reveal rigorous reasoning and counterintuitive outcomes on philosophical issues, such as skepticism or personal identity. But this philosophical façade may hide a mundane concern for entertainment. Unfamiliar narratives drive spectator entertainment, and every novel cinematic situation could be easily explained as part of a process that lacks motives of philosophical elucidation. -/- The paper inverses the above objection, and proposes that when (...)
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  16. added 2012-01-21
    Rooting for the Fascists in James Cameron's Avatar.John Marmysz - 2012 - Film and Philosophy 16.
    Conservative critics have united in attacking James Cameron’s newest blockbuster Avatar for its “liberal” political message. But underneath all of the manifest liberalism of Avatar there is also a latent message. In his valorization of the organic, primal, interconnectedness of Na’vi culture and his denigration of the mechanical, modern, disconnectedness of human culture, Cameron runs very close to advocating a form of fascism. -/- In this paper I describe the overarching philosophical perspective of fascism, and then I draw on the (...)
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  17. added 2012-01-09
    There is No 'I' in 'Robot': Robots and Utilitarianism (Expanded & Revised).Christopher Grau - 2011 - In Susan Anderson & Michael Anderson (eds.), Machine Ethics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 451.
    Utilizing the film I, Robot as a springboard, I here consider the feasibility of robot utilitarians, the moral responsibilities that come with the creation of ethical robots, and the possibility of distinct ethics for robot-robot interaction as opposed to robot-human interaction. (This is a revised and expanded version of an essay that originally appeared in IEEE: Intelligent Systems.).
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  18. added 2012-01-09
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Morality of Memory.Christopher Grau - 2006 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (1):119–133.
    In this essay I argue that the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind eloquently and powerfully suggests a controversial philosophical position: that the harm caused by voluntary memory removal cannot be entirely understood in terms of harms that are consciously experienced. I explore this possibility through a discussion of the film that includes consideration of Nagel and Nozick on unexperienced harms, Kant on duties to oneself, and Murdoch on the requirements of morality.
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  19. added 2012-01-09
    From Night to Day: Nihilism and the Living Dead.John Marmysz - 1996 - Film & Philosophy (Society for the Philosophic Study of the Contemporary Visual Arts) 3:138-143.
    Upon its release in 1968, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead was attacked by many critics as an exploitative low budget film of questionable moral value. I argue in this paper that Night of the Living Dead is indeed nihilistic, but in a deeper philosophical sense than the critics had in mind.
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  20. added 2011-11-12
    Cultural Change and Nihilism in the Rollerball Films.John Marmysz - 2004 - Film and Philosophy 8:91-111.
    In 2002, a remake of the 1975 film Rollerball was released in theaters. It flopped at the box-office, disappearing quickly from movie screens and reappearing shortly thereafter on home video. While aesthetically horrendous, the remake of Rollerball is instructive, as it provides a point of contrast to the original film, highlighting a change in our culture’s manner of engagement with the difficult philosophical problem of nihilism. Both films share a roughly similar plot, yet in the differing manners that they explore (...)
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