'See What I Mean'

Understanding Films as Communicative Actions

Beatrice Sasha Kobow
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'See What I Mean' reintroduces the question of language-likeness to film theory: On the one hand, films are unlike natural languages. They don’t have arbitrary, concrete, conventional meaning-segments corresponding to the words of a natural language. Filmic images are non-naturally and naturally meaningful; they can indicate states of affairs, but they can also have speaker-intended meaning. On the other hand, films and natural languages are alike - both are used for communicative purposes. Films as a special class of moving images are intentional visual artifacts with the main goal of communication. This volume contributes to the theoretical foundations of film philosophy. It answers questions concerning the relation of films and truth, films and intentionality, films and reality; it evaluates different ideas of film realism and discursive film theories, and it asks what the meaning of films is and how we understand films. Drawing on H.P. Grice’s model of communication and G. Meggle’s critical revisions of this model, B.S. Kobow argues that films are (communicative) actions in the world. With films we maintain, shape and negotiate social reality as J.R. Searle constructs it.

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