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Film and Philosophy - PHL365

What can philosophy teach us about cinema? What can film show us about philosophy? Can films do philosophy? This unit explores these questions across a range of writings dealing with philosophical, aesthetic and ethical aspects of our engagement with film. Rather than treating film as an illustration of various theories or ideas, we examine the ways in which film itself can explore philosophical problems in visual and narrative terms. We begin with the problems of cinematic representation, visual perception, and the ontology of the moving image. We consider how film represents our subjective experience by exploring the phenomenology of perception, movement, emotional engagement, and time- consciousness. We also analyse how films can explore philosophical ideas, focusing on the provocative claim that films can do philosophy by cinematic means. Finally, we examine some of the ethical, moral, and ideological implications of film in modern culture. Throughout the unit we analyse the work of philosophers who investigate the philosophical dimensions of film, or who construct new ways of thinking about film philosophically (eg, Stanley Cavell, Gilles Deleuze, and Stephen Mulhall). We also study various films and filmmakers from a philosophical point of view with the aim of demonstrating the creative intersection between film and philosophy.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

2018 - Next offered in 2018

Staff Contact(s): Dr Robert Sinnerbrink

(39cp at 100 level or above) or admission to GDipArts Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): PHIL365, PHI350
Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Philosophy

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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