Texas Tech University

Philosophy Has a Lot to Learn From Films

Costica Bradatan

July 7, 2017

The Wire - Picture this: a man – a samurai – is killed in a grove. One by one, all those involved are brought before a court. The woodcutter talks of the horror that seized him when he stumbled upon the body.

Of course, all this is 'only a movie'. In addition, it's been so much fun toying around with the notion that truth is a human fabrication, that everything can be endlessly constructed and deconstructed. So much fun. And yet. The time for payback could have come earlier than we expected. For when the government pushes us to accept lies not as lies but as 'alternative facts', we know that the frame of reference is no longer Rorty or Nietzsche, but George Orwell's 1984 (1949). And it's not a fiction we read, it's one we start to inhabit.

We should have at least seen it coming. After all, Rashômon gave us plenty of warning.Aeon counter – do not remove

Costica Bradatan is a professor of humanities at Texas Tech University and an honorary research professor of philosophy at the University of Queensland, Australia. He is the author, most recently, of Dying for Ideas: The Dangerous Lives of the Philosophers (2015). Bradatan serves as the religion/comparative studies editor for The Los Angeles Review of Books and is the founding editor of Philosophical Filmmakers, an interdisciplinary book series at Bloomsbury.

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