By Ted Nannicelli
Recently, students in a number of disciplines―including philosophy, movie and media reports, and literary studies―have develop into attracted to the aesthetics, definition, and ontology of the screenplay. To this finish, this quantity addresses the elemental philosophical questions about the character of the screenplay: what's a screenplay? Is the screenplay art―more in particular, literature? what sort of a specific thing is a screenplay? Nannicelli argues that the screenplay is one of those artefact; as such, its limitations are made up our minds jointly via screenwriters, and its ontological nature is decided jointly by way of either writers and readers of screenplays. Any believable philosophical account of the screenplay has to be strictly restricted via our collective inventive and appreciative practices, and needs to realize that these practices point out that at the very least a few screenplays are artworks.
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Another reason for preferring this route to the institutional route stems from a crucial fact illuminated by the previous discussion: screenplays are artifacts—the products of intentional human activity. 55 Jerrold Levinson and Noël Carroll are the best-known advocates of intentional–historical approaches, but they have developed substantively different proposals. The nub of the difference is that Levinson offers a definition of art, whereas Carroll offers a method of identifying art. The distinction is this: On one hand, Levinson’s proposal—generally, that “something is a work of art if and only if it is or was intended or projected for overall regard as some prior art is or was correctly regarded”56—involves a condition that is supposedly both necessary and sufficient for something to be art.
In many cases, the second, non-recursive part of the definition will be possible to provide because the histories of most of the individual arts can be traced back to their origins. What Is a Screenplay? 29 Anna Christina Ribeiro has recently offered an intentional–historical definition of poetry that avoids the objections Davies has to Levinson’s definition of art, as well as those that Levinson levels at Bloom’s definition of artifacts. ”64 Like Levinson’s definition of art, Ribeiro’s definition of poetry claims that standing in the right sort of relationship to prior works or a prior tradition is necessary for a candidate work to fall under the category.
61 But while the problem of first-art may turn out to be one that Levinson’s definition cannot satisfactorily solve, it is not a problem that necessarily threatens the approach as applied to individual arts or other artifact concepts. Here, we see the relevance of the fact that the individual arts are more homogeneous than art in a broad sense. In many cases, the second, non-recursive part of the definition will be possible to provide because the histories of most of the individual arts can be traced back to their origins.
A Philosophy of the Screenplay by Ted Nannicelli