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Malcolm Turvey

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Malcolm Turvey

Abstract

This article questions the priority that Carl Plantinga accords to the viewer's emotions in his theory of the rhetorical power of screen stories, and makes the case that reason, in the sense of practical reasoning, plays just as important a role as emotion in our ethical response to such fictions. Practical reasoning is the form of reasoning concerned with the actions of agents and what they should do in specific situations. The protagonists of screen stories often engage in practical reasoning, articulating and deliberating about the reasons for their actions, and secondary characters around them regularly question their reasons. In this way, these stories prompt us to understand and question their reasons too and thereby to engage in practical reasoning, a species of which is moral reasoning. Screen stories also often stage a confrontation between divergent ethical perspectives and ask audiences to reflect about which one is more morally compelling.

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Mirror Neurons and Film Studies

A Cautionary Tale from a Serious Pessimist

Malcolm Turvey

Abstract

This article surveys some of the major criticisms of mirror neuron explanations of human behavior within neuroscience and philosophy of mind. It then shows how these criticisms pertain to the recent application of mirror neuron research to account for some of our responses to movies, particularly our empathic response to film characters and our putative simulation of anthropomorphic camera movements. It focuses especially on the “egocentric” conception of the film viewer that mirror neuron research appears to license. In doing so, it develops a position called “serious pessimism” about the potential contribution of neuroscience to the study of film and art by building upon the “moderate pessimism” recently proposed by philosopher David Davies. It also offers some methodological recommendations for how film scholars should engage with the sciences.

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Malcolm Turvey, Mette Hjort, Julian Hanich, and Christopher T. Gonzalez

ELEGY FOR THEORY by D.N. RODOWICK

Malcolm Turvey

COGNITIVE MEDIA THEORY by TED NANNICELLI AND PAUL TABERHAM (EDS.)

Mette Hjort

THE FORMS OF THE AFFECTS by EUGENIE BRINKEMA

Julian Hanich

MEX-CINÉ: MEXICAN FILMMAKING, PRODUCTION, AND CONSUMPTION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY by FREDERICK LUIS ALDAMA

Christopher T. Gonzalez

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Paul Messaris, Cynthia Freeland, Sheena Rogers, Malcolm Turvey, Greg M. Smith, Daniel T. Levin, Alicia M. Hymel, and Tim J. Smith

CONTINUITY AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Paul Messaris

CONTINUITY, NARRATIVE, AND CROSS-MODAL CUING OF ATTENTION

Cynthia Freeland

AUTEUR OF ATTENTION: THE FILMMAKER AS COGNITIVE SCIENTIST

Sheena Rogers

THE CONTINUITY OF NARRATIVE COMPREHENSION

Malcolm Turvey

CONTINUITY IS NOT CONTINUOUS

Greg M. Smith

MAKING THE CASE FOR NONPREDICTIVE CONTINUITY PERCEPTION

Daniel T. Levin and Alicia M. Hymel

EXTENDING ATOCC: A REPLY

Tim J. Smith