The term "realism" has been put to almost as many uses in film theory as in philosophy. The basic idea in both areas of study is the same: something is realistic if it bears some sort of veridical relation to reality. Thus, in order to specify a particular sense of "realism" one must specify (i) what is being described as realistic; (ii) what one means by "reality"; and (iii) what relation is being posited between them. In film theory and criticism, one major concern has been with whether particular films, or kinds of film (e.g., film noir, neorealist cinema), veridically represent the true nature of the social or political order, or human nature or consciousness, or interpersonal relations. I largely ignore those questions here. Instead, I address more basic questions about the nature of film in general, and whether it can be said to be a realistic medium at some more fundamental level.
RealismThe Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film
Document TypeContribution to Book
EditorPaisley Livingston, Carl Plantinga
Citation InformationKania, A. (2008). Realism. In P. Livingston & C. Plantinga (Eds.), The Routledge companion to philosophy and film (pp. 237-248). London, England: Routledge.