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(2014) A critique of judgment in film and television, Dordrecht, Springer.

Screen truth

Claire Colebrook

pp. 167-186

In his recent book The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking (2010) declares that philosophy is dead and that its task of ascertaining the truth of the world has been given over to physics. He then goes on to give a brief history of philosophers" accounts of the cosmos; neither Aristotle nor Descartes appear at all as worth saving. If philosophy were to compete with physics on its own plane, then Hawking's death sentence or obituary of philosophy would seem to be long overdue. In these days of inter-disciplinarity, and especially in literary studies, the humanities have enthusiastically signed up to being the hand-maiden of the sciences, turning to Darwinism to explain literary complexity and to give the arts a social justification. Supposedly, we read in order to develop and evolve cognitive adaptive capacities; the old days of an explication du texte, and modes of interpretive judgments, or the division between a science of facts and the arts of critical judgment, have given way to one grand theory of life (Carroll 2004; Boyd 2009). Those who are defending literature today from the point of view of science accept that there is one mode of judgment — that which serves the interests of the organism; such judgment is then exercised in literary forms not only by giving an accurate picture of the world, but also by offering formal techniques that enhance cognitive fitness (Zunshine 2006).

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9781137014184_8

Full citation:

Colebrook, (2014)., Screen truth, in S. Panse & D. Rothermel (eds.), A critique of judgment in film and television, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 167-186.

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