Plato and the Moving Image


This book shows how and why debates in the philosophy of film can be advanced through the study of the role of images in Plato’s dialogues, and, conversely, why Plato studies stands to benefit from a consideration of recent debates in the philosophy of film. Contributions range from a reading of Phaedo as a ghost story to thinking about climate change documentaries through Plato’s account of pleonexia. They suggest how philosophical aesthetics can be reoriented by attending anew to Plato’s deployment of images, particularly images that move. They also show how Plato’s deployment of images is integral to his practice as a literary artist. Contributors are Shai Biderman, David Calhoun, Michael Forest, Jorge Tomas Garcia, Abraham Jacob Greenstine, Paul A. Kottman, Danielle A. Layne, David McNeill, Erik W. Schmidt, Timothy Secret, Adrian Switzer, and Michael Weinman.

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Shai Biderman, Ph.D. (2012), Boston University, teaches Philosophy and Film at Tel Aviv University and Beit-Berl College, Israel. He has co-edited The Philosophy of David Lynch (UPK, 2011) and Kafka and the Moving Image (CUP, 2016) and published many articles on philosophy of film.
Michael Weinman, Ph.D. (2005), New School for Social Research, is Professor of Philosophy at Bard College Berlin. He has published three books, most recently The Parthenon and Liberal Education (SUNY Press, 2018), and many articles on Greek philosophy and political philosophy.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Shai Biderman and Michael Weinman

Part 1: From Plato to the Moving Image: Reorienting Film-Philosophy

1 Accounting for Images in the Sophist
Abraham Jacob Greenstine
2 Pseudos, Kalos and Eikōs Mythos in Plato and Film
Danielle A. Layne and Erik W. Schmidt
3 Dead Ringers: Plato and Turning the Camera Back
Timothy Secret
4 The Cinematic Image as Platonic Simulacrum
Jorge Tomas Garcia
5 The Myth of Er as Rationalizing Recording Device
Michael Weinman

Part 2: From the Moving Image to Plato: Reorienting Plato Studies

6 Learning to Notice: Light and Shadow, from Chauvet Cave to Plato’s Cave and Beyond
Paul A. Kottman
7 Phaedo: a Ghost Story
David McNeill
8 Fascism Re-performed: Benjaminian Mimesis, Platonic Methexis and Bertolucci’s The Conformist
Adrian Switzer
9 Entranced by the Spectacle of Truth: Wonder and Ascent in Plato and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups and To the Wonder
David H. Calhoun
10 Plato, Pleonexia and Environmental Documentaries
Michael Forest
11 Truth, Reality and Fiction in the Documentary of Errol Morris: Refiguring ‘Platonism’ in Epistemology and Aesthetics
Shai Biderman

All interested in the philosophy of film, in Plato's dialogues as works of literary art, and most especially those who are in interested in both.
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