How Exquisitely the Individual Mind
to the External World Is Fitted: — And How Exquisitely, too, the External World is Fitted to the Mind.

Edward Hopper, “Jo in Wyoming”

***

he OLD Philosoflicks was a series of seven experimental works in philosophy that were published online in the edgy, radical philosophy blog Against Professional Philosophy between July 2015 and May 2016:

Philosoflicks 1: You Are Not a Machine!

Philosoflicks 2, Installment 1: Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus, Preface & Letters I-IV.

Philosoflicks 2, Installment 2: Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus, Volume 1, Chapter 1.

Philosoflicks 3: On the Metaphysics of Puppets.

Philosoflicks 4: The Vienna Circle Meets The Hollow Men Meets Flitcraft Meets Us.

Philosoflicks 5: caesargodkantgoldman.

Philosoflicks 6: Thoughtless Images, aka Guns R Us.

OK. So what’s a “philosoflick”?

Here’s what the author of The OLD Philosoflicks said —

In “Let’s Make More Movies,” the epistemological anarchist Paul Feyerabend wrote this:

The separation of subjects that is such a pronounced characteristic of modern philosophy is … not altogether undesirable. It is a step on the way to a more satisfactory type of myth. What is needed to proceed further is not the return to harmony and stability as too many critics of the status quo, Marxists included, seem to think, but a form of life in which the constituents of older myths — theories, books, images, emotions, sounds, institutions — enter as interacting but antagonistic elements. Brecht’s theatre was an attempt to create such a form of life. He did not entirely succeed. I suggest we try movies instead. (P. Feyerabend, “Let’s Make more Movies,” in The Owl of Minerva: Philosophers on Philosophy, Ch. J. Bontempo and S. J. Odell (eds), McGraw-Hill: New York 1975, pp. 201–210.)

By cine-phenomenology, I mean the direct expression of philosophical ideas in cinematic, visual terms, from a first-person point of view.

Intertitles are printed texts inserted into (especially silent) films in order to convey dialogue, descriptions, or expository material directly relevant to but not necessarily covered by the filmed material, e.g.,

And montage is the cinematic technique, discovered by Sergei Eisenstein, of combining, juxtaposing, ordering, and sequencing (more generally, synthesizing) visual images for the production of various kinds of aesthetic and emotional effect.

A philosoflick is an experiment in visual philosophy, blending text and images–employing cine-phenomenology, intertitles, and montage–inspired by Feyerabend and Eisenstein, by Chris Marker’s La Jetée, and by W.G. Sebald’s pictorial novels.

***

I think that The OLD Philosoflicks were very cool; but I also think that their author barely scratched the surface of what can done with this experiment in visual philosophy.

So that’s why I’ve undertaken a new series of philosoflicks here on Medium — hence The NEW Philosoflicks.

The first in that series was about Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysics, the nature of reality, and the profundity of movies, Nietzsche Does Hollywood.

The second was about human unhappiness, poetic empathy, and the minds, lives, and deaths of non-human animals, Death of Hedgehog.

The third was about our own lives and deaths, What Makes Life Worth Dying For?

The fourth was about what, if anything, might transcend rational human existence, and what we should be doing about it, Pascal Does Vegas.

The fifth, Appearing, by Snaut, was the first in a tetralogy that visuo-philosophically explores themes in the work of Hannah Arendt.

The sixth, Postscript to Appearing, also by Snaut, was the second installment in that tetralogy.

The seventh, Disappearing, again by Snaut, was the third installment in the tetralogy.

The eighth, The Two Greatest Living Philosophers Are Only 3.5 Inches Tall, recorded an amazing intellectual encounter between a philosophical finger-puppet named “Mr Kant” and another philosophical finger-puppet named “Mr Nietzsche” in The Eerie, Uncanny House of Cinema.

The ninth, Why All The Truly Cosmopolitan Philosophers in the World Today Are Only 3.5 Inches Tall, recorded how Mr Kant and Mr Nietzsche went on a truly cosmopolitan philosophical field trip to Mexico City, without passports.

And this one, the tenth of The NEW Philosoflicks, presents a purely visual philosophical reflection on these seven lines from Wordsworth’s The Recluse:

My voice proclaims
How exquisitely the individual Mind
(And the progressive powers perhaps no less
Of the whole species) to the external World
Is fitted: — and how exquisitely, too,
Theme this but little heard of among Men,
The external World is fitted to the Mind.[i], [ii]

***

Edward Hopper, “People in the Sun”

Note

[i] W. Wordsworth, “The Recluse, Part First, Book First — Home at Grasmere,” ll. 815–821.

[ii] If successful, this P-flick will have shown, but not said, how and why Wordsworth’s poetic insights are not only objectively, morally, and aesthetically true, but also fully apply, both ironically and negatively, to those who — unlike Hopper’s Jo — unthinkingly, inauthentically, and unhappily fail to attend, with a mixture of classical German and British Romantic amazement and reverence, to the beautiful and sublime (in the Kantian senses) mutual attunement of the individual mind and the external world….

***

AGAINST PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY REDUX 96

Mr Nemo, W, X, Y, & Z, Monday 19 February 2018

Against Professional Philosophy is a sub-project of the online mega-project Philosophy Without Borders, which is home-based on Patreon here.

Please consider becoming a patron! We’re improvident, but cheerful.

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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