Film, Art, and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film

ISBN : 9780198790648

Murray Smith
320 ページ
153 x 234 mm

In the mid-1950s C.P. Snow began his campaign against the 'two cultures' - the debilitating divide, as he saw it, between traditional 'literary intellectual' culture, and the culture of the sciences, urging in its place a 'third culture' which would draw upon and integrate the resources of disciplines spanning the natural and social sciences, the arts and the humanities. Murray Smith argues that, with the ever-increasing influence of evolutionary theory and neuroscience, and the pervasive presence of digital technologies, Snow's challenge is more relevant than ever. Working out how the 'scientific' and everyday images of the world 'hang' together is no simple matter. In Film, Art, and the Third Culture, Smith explores this question in relation to the art, technology, and science of film in particular, and to the world of the arts and aesthetic activity more generally. In the first part of his book, Smith explores the general strategies and principles necessary to build a 'third cultural' or naturalized approach to film and art - one that roots itself in an appreciation of scientific knowledge and method. Smith then goes on to focus on the role of emotion in film and the other arts, as an extended experiment in the 'third cultural' integration of ideas on emotion spanning the arts, humanities and sciences. While acknowledging that not all of the questions we ask are scientific in nature, Smith contends that we cannot disregard the insights wrought by taking a naturalized approach to the aesthetics of film and the other arts.



Part I - Building the Third Culture
1 Aesthetics Naturalized
2 Triangulating Aesthetic Experience
3 The Engine of Reason and the Pit of Naturalism
4 Papaya, Pomegranates, and Green Tea

Part II - Science and Sentiment
5 Who's Afraid of Charles Darwin?
6 What Difference Does it Make?
7 Empathy, Expansionism, and the Extended Mind
8 Feeling Prufish

Conclusion: The Art and Science of Emotion


Murray Smith is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, co-director of the Aesthetics Research Centre at Kent, and President of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image. He has published widely on film, art and aesthetics. His publications include Engaging Characters: Fiction, Emotion, and the Cinema (Oxford University Press); Trainspotting (BFI); Film Theory and Philosophy (co-edited with Richard Allen) (Oxford University Press); Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (co-edited with Steve Neale) (Routledge); and Thinking through Cinema (co-edited with Tom Wartenberg) (Blackwell).