Philosophy’s Artful Conversation, by D. N. Rodowick [Book Review]

Teaching Philosophy 39 (4):565-567 (2016)
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Philosophy’s Artful Conversation draws on Gilles Deleuze, Stanley Cavell, and the later writing by Ludwig Wittgenstein to defend a “philosophy of the humanities.” Both because film studies is historically a site of contention and theoretical upheaval and because Rodowick accepts Cavell’s idea that (at least in the American context) film is philosophy made ordinary, bringing philosophical questions of skepticism and perfectionism into filmgoers’ lives inescapably, it makes sense to build this vision for the humanities out of writing on film. Although presented as a monograph with a single argumentative strand, the book may be more profitably read as three partly distinct works: an examination of the boundaries of theory and philosophy that doubles as a defense of a “philosophy of the humanities,” an interpretation of Deleuze’s work on film that intriguingly prioritizes What Is Philosophy?, and an interpretation of Cavell that argues that his epistemological and ontological questions are subsumed under ethics in a way that pairs well with Deleuze’s emphasis on immanence.
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