top of page
The Good, the Bad, and the Not Too Bad.
The Good, the Bad, and the Not Too Bad.

Tue, Nov 14


Tufts University, Barnum Hall 104

The Good, the Bad, and the Not Too Bad.

Ethics and Aesthetics of Movie Characters

Time & Location

Nov 14, 2023, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Tufts University, Barnum Hall 104, 163 Packard Ave, Medford, MA 02155, USA

About the event

Co-sponsored by Tufts Film and Media Studies, Tufts Department of Philosophy, Center for Humanities at Tufts, and the Boston Cinema/Media Seminar

The question of why we sometimes feel sympathy and other pro- (or positive) attitudes toward immoral protagonists in films and television shows (Alex in A Clockwork Orange[1971], Michael in The Godfather [1974], Tony in The Sopranos[1999-2007], Nancy in Weeds [2005-2012]) is one that has preoccupied theorists and philosophers of film and television. In this talk, the authors analyze, from a moral point of view, the various types of movie characters. As is well known, the standard opposition between heroes and villains does not apply to many films of the last few decades, and this is why the categories of "antiheroes" and "rough heroes" have been proposed. To these categories, the authors add a new one, that of "crypto-heroes"– that is, villains with whom the audience sympathizes because they are perceived as intrinsically redeemable.

Mario De Caro is Professor of Moral Philosophy at Roma Tre University and regularly a Visiting Professor at Tufts University, where he has taught since 2000. He has been a Visiting Scholar at MIT (twice) and a Fulbright Fellow at Harvard University. He was the President of the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy and now is President of the Italian Society of Moral Philosophy, Hilary Putnam’s literary executor, and an Associate editor of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association. He has edited Naturalism in Question(Harvard UP), Naturalism and Normativity (Columbia UP), and the Routledge Handbook of Liberal Naturalism (Routledge).

Enrico Terrone has a degree in Engineering and a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Turin. He is Professor of Aesthetics at the University of Genoa and "Principal Investigator" of the ERC project "The Philosophy of Experiential Artifacts." He held visiting positions at the University of Sheffield and McGill University, Montréal, and he has worked at Käte Hamburger Kolleg (Bonn), FMSH (Paris, with a Gerda Henkel Stiftung), Institut Jean Nicod (Paris), and LOGOS (Universitat de Barcelona). He has published in international journals such as The British Journal of Aesthetics, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art, Film and Philosophy,American Philosophical Quarterly, and Erkenntnis.

Malcolm Turvey is Sol Gittleman Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Tufts University and was the founding Director (2015-2021) of Tufts' Film & Media Studies Program. He is also an editor of the journal October. He is the author of Doubting Vision: Film and the Revelationist Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2008), The Filming of Modern Life: European Avant-Garde Film of the 1920s(MIT Press, 2011), and Play Time: Jacques Tati and Comedic Modernism (Columbia University Press, 2019). He has just finished a book titled In Defense of Humanistic Explanation: Film, Art, and the Limits of Science.

Share this event

bottom of page