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Instances of Cinema

Ted Nannicelli

Keywords: epistemology of cinema; film-philosophy; ontology of cinema; philosophy of cinema

This article sketches a commonplace yet neglected epistemic puzzle raised by the diversity of our film-viewing practices. Because our appreciative practices allow for variability in the “instances” of cinematic works we engage, many of our experiential encounters with those works are flawed or impoverished in a number of ways. The article outlines a number of ways in which instances of cinema can vary—including, for example, in terms of color, score, and aspect ratio. This variability of instances of cinema and, hence, the variability in our experiences of a cinematic work raise potential problems around normative questions of interpretation and evaluation.

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