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Philosophers of film and film scholars are increasingly investigating and pursuing non-, anti- and a-theoretical methods and methodologies in their work.

In 2018, Craig Fox & Britt Harrison coined the phrase “philosophy of film without theory” to help champion – and focus attention on – such scholarly work and philosophical activity.

In 2019, Craig and Britt hosted an inaugural international conference of the same name, at the University of York, England.  In 2020, they co-edited a special issue of the journal Aesthetic Investigations on philosophy of film without theory at the invitation of journal editor-in-chief Rob van Gerwen.  In Autumn 2022 Craig and Britt’s 19-chapter co-edited book, Philosophy of Film Without Theory, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan, and in 2023 – at the invitation of Professor Katheryn Doran – Hamilton College, New York State will host the 2nd Philosophy of Film Without Theory conference.

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Approaches in the Philosophy of Film Without Theory echo those of Philosophy (in general) Without Theory.  These include, but are by no means limited to: fine-grained description and discernment; disentangling confusions; reactive and/or reflective critical inquiry, the exploration of conceptual connections; logical geography; conceptual synthesis; the provision of perspicuous presentations and surveyable overviews;  non-systematic engagement with individual or particular works, subjects, objects, ideas, events and/or situations…  and more.

Philosophy Without Theory about film may include any of the above as part of a commitment to pay close attention to the form, content, and thematic aspect individual films.

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