Public Lecture: Psychology Degree Zero

  • 18 Nov 2014
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • University of New South Wales
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.

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