Re-enfranchising film

towards a romantic film-philosophy

Robert Sinnerbrink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship between philosophy and film has attracted intensive speculation in recent years. Indeed we can now speak of the’ philosophy of film’ as an independent area of inquiry with its own journals, monographs, and conferences (see Wartenberg, 2008). Despite this welcome flourishing of approaches, I shall ask whether Arthur Danto’s thesis concerning the ‘philosophical disenfranchisement of art’ (1986) might apply to (some) contemporary theoretical approaches to film. Philosophers of film repeat the gesture of philosophical disenfranchisement, for example, when they argue that philosophy’s primary task in relation to cinema is, say, to clarify theoretically problems of perception, representation, or understanding; or to show the underlying conceptual or moral significance of various kinds of film narrative; or to translate cinematic presentation into recognizable forms of philosophical argumentation; or to analyse conceptually the aesthetic ‘source material’ provided by various films or film genres, and so on. In such approaches, film is taken to be an inferior form of knowing, and is subsumed within a theoretical framework that typically reduces its aesthetic complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Takes in Film-Philosophy
EditorsHavi Carel, Greg Tuck
Place of PublicationBasingstoke, UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780230294851
ISBN (Print)9780230250284, 9780230250291
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this

Sinnerbrink, R. (2011). Re-enfranchising film: towards a romantic film-philosophy. In H. Carel, & G. Tuck (Eds.), New Takes in Film-Philosophy (pp. 25-47). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.