This review essay’s title is partly in homage to Arthur Danto’s well-known essay “Philosophy As/And/Of Literature” (Danto 1984). But this title also helps to organize my comments, both appreciative and critical, and it does so by pointing toward a range of issues about philosophy and film that is similar to a range of issues that have been raised about philosophy and literature. Specifically, I would have liked more attention to philosophy and film. But I am quite ready to admit that my own sensibility here may be extremely idiosyncratic and may present nothing that Thomas Wartenberg needs to or even does disagree with. This suggestion about philosophy and film comes at the end of the essay.
The following three talks were originally delivered as part of the “Author Meets Critic” session on Thomas E. Wartenberg’s Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy (2007)* at the American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting in Chicago. The session was sponsored by the Society for the Philosophical Study of the Contemporary Visual Arts on 17 April 2008.
Roy M. Anker
Book Review of Paisley Livingston, Cinema, Philosophy, Bergman: On Film as Philosophy
I would like to begin my “response” to my “critics” by acknowledging my sense that they are less critics than fellow travelers in a joint project of understanding the philosophical significance of film. Each of them has provided me with help and support over the years. My own attempt to think philosophically about film was aided substantially by my discovery that Cynthia Freeland was also engaged in the same line of inquiry, and this, in turn, resulted in our collaborating on the first anthology about film written exclusively by philosophers, Philosophy and Film, published in 1995. Richard Eldridge and I have also maintained an ongoing if somewhat episodic discussion over the years about my understanding of film and the significance of Stanley Cavell’s account of the cinema, a conversation that has helped me refine my own thinking even as the conversation challenged it. So I would like to begin, then, by thanking rather than responding to these two friends and colleagues.
Ted Nannicelli, A Philosophy of the Screenplay
Book Review of Berys Gaut, A Philosophy of Cinematic Art
Jason Wesley Alvis
Thomas Deane Tucker and Stuart Kendall, eds., Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy
The German journal London und Paris called James Gillray 'the foremost living artist in his genre, not only amongst Englishmen, but amongst all European nations'. Despite the scholarly attention he has attracted, many of Gillray's individual works have yet to receive rigorous analysis. One such neglected print is National Conveniences (1796), assumed to be a crude, straightforward expression of national supremacy. However, a closer reading shows Gillray employing the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau both to undermine notions of English superiority and to assail a particular personal adversary. With this reading in mind, we can reassess references to Rousseau in Gillray's other prints, and propose a new direction from which to approach his greater oeuvre.
Hannah Arendt and Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich produced influential accounts of the postwar West-German population's silence or inarticuleteness. The Mitscherlichs claimed that this silence was symptomatic of a blocked process of mourning; Arendt saw it as a legacy of brutal totalitarian rule. However, both viewed the rapid economic recovery as evidence of the German inability to engage in discursively mediated therapeutic and political processes. Frantic busyness was a form of silence. This paper presents a critical reassessment of these approaches. By drawing on Albert Hirschman's theory of exit and voice, it argues that economic activity possesses a communicative dimension. The alleged retreat from politics is not a symptom of muteness but rather indicates people's preference for an alternative mode of communication. Arendt and the Mitscherlich may be right in assuming a correlation between the postwar economic recovery and ostensible political apathy, but lack the conceptual means to clarify the relationship.
Raphaël Taylor, Bart Beaty, Robert Duggan, Catriona MacLeod, and Ann Miller
Daniel Couvreur, Frédéric Soumois and Philippe Goddin, Les Vrais Secrets de la Licorne [‘The True Secrets of the Unicorn’] (Brussels/Tournai: Moulinsart/Casterman, 2006). 127 pp., ISBN 978-2-87424-118-5 (hardback, €15.00)
Daniel Couvreur and Frédéric Soumois, with a preface by Dominique Maricq, À la Recherche du Trésor de Rackham le Rouge [‘In Search of Red Rackham’s Treasure’] (Brussels/Tournai: Moulinsart/Casterman, 2007). 135 pp., ISBN 978-2-87424-160-4 (paperback, €15.00)
Musée du Louvre, Paris, Le Petit dessein: Le Louvre s’ouvre au neuvième art [‘Modest Plans: The Louvre Opens up to the Ninth Art’]
Charles Hatfield, Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2005). 182 pp. ISBN 978-1578067190 (paperback, $22.00)
Jeff McLaughlin, Comics as Philosophy (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2005). 246 pp. ISBN 1-57806-794-4 (paperback, £12.50)
Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle, Images à mi-mots [‘Images Halfway to Words’] (Brussels: Impressions nouvelles, 2008). 191 pp. ISBN 978-2-87449-048-4 (€20.00)