Phenomenological hermeneutics of film philosophical thinking : a hermeneutic method for film world interpretation

Baracco, Alberto (2016) Phenomenological hermeneutics of film philosophical thinking : a hermeneutic method for film world interpretation. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Over the past few decades, the relationship between film and philosophy has been an object of an intense debate among film scholars, revitalizing some basic theoretical questions about cinematic representations and their meanings. As a result of this debate, many recent works in film philosophy, adopting the approach identified with the term 'Film as Philosophy' (FaP), have considered film as capable of its own philosophical thought. from this specific research perspective, the thesis proposed a new methodological strategy in maintaining FaP. The main aim of this thesis is to develop a hermeneutic method for the interpretation of film philosophical thinking. Starting from the fundamental relationship between film and filmgoer, the proposed method is founded on the concept of the film world. This concept is particularly effective because it identifies the film both as a world to be percieved, which emotionally involved the filmgoer, and as a world to be interpreted, which calls for a philosophical enquiry into its meanings. Moving from the theoretical perspective of phenomenological hermeneutics, combining Merleau-Ponty's and Ricoeur's philosophies, and reconsidering Goodman's theory of worldmaking, the film world becomes the hermeneutic horizon from which film philosophical thought can emerge. The definition of the method proceeds via a detailed examination of Ricoeur's philosophical thought, especially with regard to his hermeneutics of text and logic hermeneutics. Ricoeur's hermeneutic methodology has the potential to provide a valuable resource for film studies by inviting scholars to consider film interpretation in terms of film world hermeneutics, but only on the condition that an open and self-critical dialogue with different perspectives is part of the interpretive process.

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