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Engaging the Moving Image$
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Noël Carroll

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300091953

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300091953.001.0001

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Is the Medium a (Moral) Message?

Is the Medium a (Moral) Message?

(p.108) Chapter 5 Is the Medium a (Moral) Message?
Engaging the Moving Image

Noël Carroll

Yale University Press

This chapter addresses a question concerning the moral significance of the television medium. By “medium” here, the author is not referring to television as a business that churns out countless stories. Rather, he is referring specifically to the historically standard image, especially in regard to fiction, and to the ways in which it is typically elaborated by structures like editing, camera movement, narrative forms, and the like. Moreover, he is concerned with the moral status of the television image as such, irrespective of the elements that make up an image. Though the distinction between form and content may be historically outmoded and ultimately unsatisfactory, the author aims to, at least, provisionally demarcate his domain of interest by initially adopting the distinction and by saying that this chapter is about the putative moral significance of television from the viewpoint of some of its typical formal features—or, at least, from the viewpoint of a number of its formal features that are alleged to be typical.

Keywords:   moral significance, television, editing, camera movement, narrative forms, fiction, moral status

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