Analytic Philosophy Of Film: (Contrasted With Continental Film Theory)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

The Palgrave Handbook Of The Philosophy Of Film And Motion Pictures


This chapter contrasts the broadly empirical, pluralist, and construction device–oriented approaches to film study of analytic philosophy of film with the broadly socially hermeneutic, artistically and politically avant-gardist stances of Continental film theory. Analytic philosophy of film has tended to focus on classic Hollywood films and continuity editing, in order to explore the achievements of these films as art, while Continental film theory frequently finds such films to be regressive and technically uninteresting. I explore in detail the work of such analytically oriented film scholars as Cavell, Danto, Walton, Carroll, Wilson, Bordwell, Plantinga, and Wartenberg, among others, against the background of this broad divergence in styles of work. I conclude by suggesting possibilities of rapprochement between these two styles, possibilities that embrace both the insights of analytic philosophers concerning specific devices and effects of film construction and the insights of Continental theorists concerning human subject formation and human social, political, and artistic interests.


Analysis, Genre, Editing, Medium, Subject-formation

Published By

Palgrave Macmillan


N. Carrol, L. Di Summa, and S. Loht

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