chapter
6 Pages

Introduction

WithNathan Andersen

Films are naturally and spontaneously philosophical. Films have been around since the turn of the twentieth century. Philosophy goes back much further, to at least the sixth century bce, with the Greek sage Thales who aimed to make sense of the underlying nature of reality through his proclamation that “all is water.” In the case of both philosophy and film philosophers can say more or less how and where they got started, but the stories are complicated. One motivation for connecting film and philosophy is the assumption that the former is exciting, and timely, and the latter boring, obscure, and irrelevant. Focus too much on the film, according to the methods of traditional film criticism and analysis, and the depth and rigor of philosophical discussion may suffer. There are several ways that film and philosophy can be brought together, or that film can be approached philosophically. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.