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Cinema, Philosophy, BergmanOn Film as Philosophy$
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Paisley Livingston

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570171.001.0001

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Theses on Cinema as Philosophy

Theses on Cinema as Philosophy

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 Theses on Cinema as Philosophy
Source:
Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman
Author(s):

Paisley Livingston (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570171.003.0002

This chapter criticizes what the chapter calls the ‘bold thesis’, which is the conjunction of the idea that films can make an original contribution to philosophy, and the idea that this contribution can be achieved primarily or even entirely through means exclusive to the cinematic medium. A dilemma argument against this thesis is set forth: either support for the bold thesis depends on a claim about a cinematic contribution that cannot be paraphrased and so can be reasonably doubted, or it rests on a contribution that can be paraphrased, in which case the clause about medium specificity is betrayed. As an alternative to the bold thesis, the chapter advocates a moderate thesis whereby a film-related contribution to philosophy can be of value even when the philosophical content is neither original nor conveyed primarily by means exclusive to the cinematic medium. This chapter discusses Aaron Smuts' proposed solution to the problem of paraphrase, which makes reference to an argument advanced by Sergei Eisenstein in the ‘For God and Country’ sequence of October.

Keywords:   Aaron Smuts, medium specificity, October, paraphrase, Sergei Eisenstein

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