James H. Thomason Library

Philosophy 458 Course Guide: Philosophy and Film

Rear Window [film still] )Alfred Hitchcock, director.1954.

ARTstor Image Database.


Dictionaries, Encyclopedias,Companions, Guides

  Find Books
  Find Journal Articles
  Key Journals
  Get Help

denotes recommended resource

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Companions, Guides   back to top

For background information and definitions refer to the following library reference works and online reference collections:

Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts, Routledge, 2002. 
Main Level, Reference: R 791.43 H335C   
Key genres, movements, theories and production terms are explained and analyzed with depth and clarity.


Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, Oxford University Press, 1998.
Main Level, Reference:
R 111.85 En19E [4 vols]
Of specific interest is the entry “Film,” in vol.2, pp.185-206.

The Film Encyclopedia, HarperPerennial, 2001.
Main Level, Reference: R 791.4303 K159F   

The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, Knopf, 2003. 
Main Level, Reference:
R 791.430922 T382B 

The Film Studies Dictionary, Arnold  Press/ Oxford University Press, 2001.
Main Level, Reference:
R 791.4303 B61F 

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers [Gale Virtual Reference Library], St. James Press, 2001. 
Electronic edition of four volume set giving thorough coverage of films and filmmakers, including legendary films, actors and actresses, directors, writers and other production artists. Entries include a detailed essay written by an expert; biographies; filmographies; comprehensive credits; major awards; and updated bibliographies, as well as photographs. For general and professional audiences.

Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, Schirmer Reference, 2007.

Main Level, Reference: R 791.4303 G767S [4 vols]


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [The Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University]
See entry:  “Philosophy of Film,”  by Thomas Wartenberg.

Women Filmmakers & Their Films, St. James Press, 1998.  
Main Level, Reference: R 791.43082 W842W 
Biographies in this book are also indexed in Gale Biography in Context.


Find Books   back to top

THOMCAT - Use the online catalog to locate books in Thomason Library. You can search by author, title, keyword, or subject.


  • Search for a person, as AUTHOR or SUBJECT, with last name, first name.  Use AUTHOR search when searching for works by book authors, film directors (VHS/DVD collection), and musical artists (CD collection).                

Sarris, Andrew [as AUTHOR]

  Fellini, Federico [as AUTHOR]  
  Hitchcock, Alfred [as SUBJECT]  
  • SUBJECT searching requires use of Library of Congress subject headings. The terms below are examples of subject headings related to philosophy and film:

Film Criticism

  Motion pictures -- Aesthetics  

Motion Pictures--Philosophy


Motion Pictures--Moral and Ethical Aspects

  Feminism and Motion Pictures  
  Wenders, Wim--Criticism and Interpretation  

Subject searching is an effective and precise method of searching the catalog, however, KEYWORD searching has benefits, also.

  • Try a KEYWORD search if you are unsure of the exact title or the correct subject heading to use. Search using two or three of the most significant words from the title or subject you are trying to find. Place phrases in "quotation marks."

  • Connect words with AND, OR, NOT to focus your search.
  • Try truncation at the end of a word stem to retrieve singular, plural, and other variations of the word.  Use an asterisk (*) to truncate from 1 to 5 characters. Use a double asterisk (**) to include word endings with an unlimited number of characters.
KEYWORD Searching Tips


· Add * to the root of a word expands a term up to five letters,
retrieves truncated terms of any length:
film** = film, films, filmmaker, filmmakers, filmmaking

· Use AND between words to narrow your search:
film AND philosophy

· Use OR between words to expand your search and
group words with parentheses:
(film* OR cinema* OR motion picture*) AND criticism


Use these tips for keyword searches in THOMCAT,
other library catalogs, and library databases

PASCAL Catalog -If you need materials not available at Thomason Library, try your search here to find books in other academic libraries in SC. Through PASCAL Delivers, you can order books online for delivery within 3-4 working days. This service for current PC students, faculty, and staff is a project of PASCAL- Partnership Among SC Academic Libraries. Borrowers will be notified by e-mail when requested items arrive at Thomason Library. Click here for searching and ordering tips.

WorldCat – A catalog of books and materials at libraries worldwide. Try searching here to find ALL books available on a topic. Materials available at Thomason Library are highlighted and others can be borrowed through ILL or searched in the PASCAL Catalog.

Interlibrary Loan - ILL is available to PC students, faculty and staff in order to share resources between libraries. Click link for instructions.


Find Journal Articles   back to top

The following journal databases are available to PC students, faculty, and staff from on- and off-campus locations.  Search using terms dealing with your topic.

Academic OneFile [Thomson Gale]
Multidisciplinary database with full-text articles from scholarly sources.

Academic Search Premier [EBSCO] 
EBSCOhost's journal and magazine articles from all academic disciplines

Gale Biography in Context [Thomson/Gale]
Biographical information on individuals from reference books and other sources.

Arts & Sciences Collections I, II, & III contain an archive of over 350 full-text journals which are searchable through JSTOR or accessible through Journal Finder, which provides full-text articles in Thomason Library's electronic databases. The collections include journals in art, architecture, economics, film, folklore, history, performing arts, political science, religion, sociology, humanities, mathematics, and statistics. 

Project MUSE Basic Undergraduate Collection  
Current and recent volumes of 112 core journals in the humanities and social sciences.


Key Journals   back to top

British Journal of Aesthetics  "Appearing quarterly - in January, April, July, and October - [British Journal of Aesthetics] publishes lively and thoughtful articles on a broad range of topics from the nature of aesthetic judgement and the principles of art criticism to foundational issues concerning the visual arts, literature, music, dance, film, and architecture." (publisher's description)

Canadian Journal of Film Studies   
Canadian Journal of Film Studies promotes scholarship on Canadian film and television while publishing articles relevant to all aspects of film and television studies.  In addition to scholarly articles on film, television, and other moving image media, CJFS/RCEC publishes book reviews and review-essays

An academic journal that examines film from a variety of viewpoints, with each issue focused on a central theme. Publishes scholarly articles on film theory, plus interviews with filmmakers, film reviews, book reviews, and reports from international film festivals.

Cinema Journal
Sponsored by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and represents recent scholarship by SCMS members. Its members include university faculty, graduate students, archivists, filmmakers, and others devoted to the study of the moving image from the U.S. and 39 other countries.  The journal publishes essays on a wide variety of subjects from diverse methodological perspectives.

Film Comment 
Published bi-monthly by the Film Society of Lincoln Center,  Provides scholarly criticism, profiles of directors and actors,  news, and reviews.

  Cinema Journal Cover Image

Film Criticism 
A refereed, scholarly journal that publishes original research in film theory. Articles examine and deconstruct films from a variety of critical, political, and aesthetic viewpoints. Unusual aspects of films and symbolism are discussed in great detail. Occasionally, the body of work by a specific filmmaker is analyzed. Special features include book and film reviews. Academic and professional interests.

Founded in November 1996, Film-Philosophy is an international academic journal dedicated to philosophically reviewing film studies, philosophical aesthetics, and world cinema. The journal is published three times per year and is fully peer-reviewed. Also includes an online discussion salon.

Film Quarterly

published since 1958, provides readers with insightful analyses of film, the film industry, and international cinemas. More than a glimpse behind the scenes, Film Quarterly offers serious film lovers in-depth articles, reviews, and interviews that examine all aspects of film history, film theory, and the impact of film, video, and television on culture and society.

Journal of Popular Film and Television

An academic journal that examines commercial film and television. Discussions include genres, television networks, series television, studios and directors. Also features articles on social and culture backgrounds of films and programs.


The Journal of Religion and Film Edited by Paul Allen Williams, Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of Nebraska at Omaha (Indexed in MLA and ATLA)  “JR & F will consider not only films that explicitly highlight traditional religious images and themes. Although there will be analysis of films that consider such religious themes as sacred space, sacred times, savior-figures, images of god(s), and battles between good and evil, there also will be investigation of notions and assumptions that underlie everyday, ‘secular,’ human talk and action."

Literature Film Quarterly
An academic publication covering the adaptation of literary and dramatic works into film. Also covers film genre, theory, and criticism, and features interviews with screenwriters and directors.

Sight and Sound 
Library has print issues for 1994 to present.

Get Help   back to top
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