So what? Lecture - Professor Robert Pippin

When:18 Nov 2014, 6pm - 7:30pm
Venue:Tyree Room, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Kensington (map ref G19)
Who:UNSW Arts & Social Sciences
Prof Robert Pippen

Psychology Degree Zero:
On the Representation of Action in the Films of the Dardenne Brothers

Professor Robert Pippin
Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor of Social Thought and Philosophy
University of Chicago


In the films of the Belgian team, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the representation of the inner mental lives of characters is of central importance, but they approach that issue in a distinctive way that involves quite a radical challenge to several standard views about the very possibility of intentional, responsible action. Moreover, the argument of this lecture is that their portrayal of the general inner-outer relationship in action attempts to show it to be functionally related to forms of social order and social power. The very form of possible action seems to be socially and historically dependent, and this in a way distinctive of the new globalized economic situation. The attempt is to show, through commentary and selected clips, how such issues are cinematically addressed and developed, with special attention to their 2002 film, Le fils.


Robert B. Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on German idealism, and has also written on literature (Henry James and Modern Moral Life (2000)) and film (Hollywood Westerns and American Myth (2010). His most recent books are Nietzsche, Psychology, and First Philosophy (2010), Hegel on Self-Consciousness (2011), and Fatalism in American Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy (2012). His book on the philosophical dimensions of modernist art, After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Pictorial Modernism, appeared this year. He is a past winner of the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the Humanities, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of The American Philosophical Society.


UNSW Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to offer So, what? Public Lectures in contemporary humanities and social sciences.

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