Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ethics at the Cinema$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ward E. Jones and Samantha Vice

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195320398

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320398.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 26 May 2019

The Third Man

The Third Man

Ethics, Aesthetics, Irony

Chapter:
(p.285) 14 The Third Man
Source:
Ethics at the Cinema
Author(s):

Deborah Knight (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320398.003.0014

Noël Carroll claims that The Third Man allows us to clarify our understanding of the ethical commitments of friendship. Was it right for Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) to side with the police in trying to bring Holly’s great friend, Harry Lime (Orson Wells) to justice? I take issue with Carroll’s use of The Third Man as an illustration of clarificationism. I argue in particular that The Third Man is not best thought of as a thought experiment intended to refute a postion that Carroll dubs the Forster Maxim, after E.M. Forster’s pre-World War Two remarks about whether to support one’s friends or one’s nation. Instead, the most rewarding way of thinking about the film’s ethical implications must highlight its extremely self-conscious aesthetics and its essentially ironic perspective.

Keywords:   The Third Man, Noël Carroll, clarificationism, film noir, E.M. Forster, friendship, irony, thought experiments, Vienna

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .