Film theory traditionally has been wary of cinema’s ethical potential, treating it as a deceptive medium requiring theoretical analysis and ethico-political critique. Although philosophers of film have recently begun exploring the question of ethics and cinema, there is surprisingly little consensus on what this means. How do movies express ethical ideas? How can they reveal the complexities of a moral situation? What kind of ethical experience can cinema evoke? I explore these questions in this chapter, focusing on the role of emotional engagement and moral evaluation. I suggest that the prevailing model of emotional engagement/moral evaluation—associated with theorists such as Noël Carroll, Carl Plantinga, and Murray Smith—should be supplemented by an account of emotional estrangement and moral-cognitive dissonance, and show how these processes contribute to ethical experience by analysing a key scene from Michael Haneke’s film, Amour .
|Title of host publication||Social aesthetics and moral judgment|
|Subtitle of host publication||pleasure, reflection and accountability|
|Editors||Jennifer A. McMahon|
|Place of Publication||New York ; London|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group|
|Number of pages||17|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9781315148496, 9781351373333|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
Sinnerbrink, R. (2018). Emotional engagement and moral evaluation: exploring cinematic ethics. In J. A. McMahon (Ed.), Social aesthetics and moral judgment: pleasure, reflection and accountability (pp. 196-212). New York ; London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.