Does the debate about cinematic motion rest on a mistake?

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paper

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2017
EventWorkshop on the Philosophy of Cinema - Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
Duration: 25 May 201726 May 2017


WorkshopWorkshop on the Philosophy of Cinema
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityTuen Mun
Other​Cinema has been variously associated with philosophy—some scholars have even claimed that a film itself can do philosophy. In turn, philosophers have discussed some of the central features that cinematic experiences offer—e.g., the nature of cinematic representation, the rationality of our emotional engagement with fictional characters, the morality of certain films, and how the ethical value of certain films may or may not interact with their aesthetic value.

The main purpose of this conference is to invite a number of contemporary leading scholars to reflect on issues at the intersection of philosophical aesthetics and cinema studies. Some of the issues to be addressed at the conference include philosophical problems described by Paisley Livingston in his Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman (Oxford University Press, 2009). In particular, “Who (or what) is to be taken as doing the real philosophical work? Is it literally ‘the film itself ’, and if so, in what sense is this possible? Is a film—in the sense of an audio-visual display—literally the sort of thing that can raise questions, conduct investigations, and make claims about very general topics such as the nature of reality, the good life, and our knowledge of it? If, on the other hand, a film is not literally the sort of thing that argues and theorizes, why do philosophers read their general arguments and theories into imaginative stories that can be associated with the experience of an audio-visual display?”.

Other topics to be explored at the conference include the extent to which cinema, as an artistic form, can provide aesthetic experiences and value—and their peculiar nature when compared to other forms of art. More specifically, the cinematic experience has a series of characteristic features, determined by a variety of aspects connected to the means of production of a film, that elicit an emotionally loaded and powerful response in the audience. The speakers will be invited to reflect on the nature of such an experience.
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