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February 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
louis schwartz <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 2 Feb 1994 12:38:18 -0600
louis schwartz <[log in to unmask]>
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I don't deny the importance of the body or of genes, and niether do any of
the phenomenologists that I cited. Nor do I, or they claim that the
subject is constituted by discourse. That is poor, undergradute film
major Lacanianism. The entry into the symbolic that enables the formation
of the subject as we know it involves the auesition of language, but that
is a different claim. And who would deny that language itself is
conditioned by genetics? Dirk you seek to think that
I am participating in the semiotic discourse of film studies. I'm not. I'm
reading continental phenomenology and seeing how it relates to what I can
and can't know about films. Phenomenology has been accepted by film
scholars from Eisenstein to Bazin, though it is most often ignored in
favor of the mishmash of ideological analysis and *post-structural film
We do have serious philosophical difference about *ordinary language
philosophy* (an impossibility for Wittgenstein) and analytic philosophy. I
think those differences are important to go into at the level of actual
arguments about philosophical writings. An analysis of the status of
*experience* in psychoanalysis by way of the Webster's deffinition of it
is just not an argument.
Any generalizations about say psychoanalysis should be supported by
citations, even on screen-L.
To speak within pre-established discourses in film studies is a watse of
ttime that could be spent thinking through film. The philosophical
grounding of multivariable experimental analyses of film reception seems
week to me. I don't even think we know what the data are telling or what
the relation between that data and signification is. It also doesn't,
because it can't show us how certain protocols of spefctator ship are
inscribed within texts and how they are taken up in spectatorial peraxis.
What I object to most is the attempt to constitute reception studies as
its own feild, as if formal analyses of films didn't also involve an
element of reception. This and the tone of experimentalists who write as
if their methodology gives concrete results while the rest of us are
building castles in the air.
ps I still maintain that although in Freud's biologist phases he posited
antotomical structures that would be discovered in the brain that would
correspond to the phenomenal structures he was describing, norigorous
reading of Freud will find in his writing propositions that can be tested
be experiment.