Are There Definite Objections to Film as Philosophy? Metaphilosophical Considerations

In Christina Rawls, Diana Neiva & Steven S. Gouveia (eds.), Philosophy and Film: Bridging Divides. Nova Iorque, NY, Estados Unidos: Routledge Press, Research on Aesthetics. pp. 116-134 (2019)
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The “film as philosophy” (FAP) hypothesis turned into a field if its own right during the 2000s, after S. Mulhall’s On Film (2001). In this work, Mulhall defended that some films philosophize for themselves. This caused controversy. Around the same time of On Film’s release, B. Russell published the article “The philosophical limits of film” (2000). This article had one of the first attacks against FAP, posing some main objections based on metaphilosophical grounds, which were called the “generality” and the “explicitness” objections. These objections made by Russell and by M. Smith are based on the idea that film and philosophy are too different in their purposes or ways of presentation, ideas that are grounded in implicit or explicit conceptions of philosophy. In this chapter, these will be analyzed, as well as some other metaphilosophically grounded objections, as a line of reasoning connecting to attempts of responding to them will be drawn. After doing so, it will be concluded that their metaphilosophical grounds are implausible, and, thus, they are not definite objections against FAP.

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Diana Neiva
Universidade do Minho


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