On some epistemological problems in film theory

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In the light of recent debates in film studies over the nature of film theory and the kinds of knowledge it produces, this paper examines some of the epistemological issues currently being raised by film scholars. In particular, it examines the ‘dualistic’ positions that have been developed by Noël Carroll and Malcolm Turvey and seeks to find a ‘third’ way by calling on the philosophy of American pragmatist C.S. Peirce. Two general conclusions are drawn: first, that epistemological inquiries into what we call ‘film theory’ require we take into consideration the various goals and ideals that animate its numerous projects; secondly, that many epistemological problems will be solved if we avoid the sort of dualism implied by Carroll and Turvey's positions.

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