Woody Allen and Philosophy: You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong?
Mark T. Conard
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Focusing on different works and varied aspects of Allen's multifaceted output, these essays explore the philosophical undertones of Anne Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Manhattan, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy and reminds us that just because the universe is meaningless and life is pointless is no reason to commit suicide.
Wealth of Nations (New York: Modern Library, 1965), p. 14. Woody Allen 2/18/09 11:56 AM Page 43 Does Morality Have to Be Blind? 43 under which anything can be an end in itself has not merely a relative value—that is, a price—but has an intrinsic value—that is, dignity. 7 A way of looking at life that is not “logical” in the strictly economic sense is nevertheless morally required of us. The purely economic approach is in fact a subjective one, the result of a human decision to behave in
the film suggests that these wrongs are to be righted. It is tempting to say that the attitude of the film is itself without hope. It dramatizes a world without justice. Professor Levy, the expert on the Holocaust, whom Cliff has interviewed and filmed, and who seems to have confronted the abyss and come back able to make sense of it without abandoning optimism, has thrown himself out of a window. His voice affirming that qualified optimism is the last we hear in the film. Allen dramatizes all
parody. When McLuhan says in Annie Hall, “You know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you ever got to teach . . .,” one can almost anticipate the pompous academic’s efforts to make sense of the gibberish in McLuhan’s second sentence, when, in fact, the confusion created in the mind of someone trained to make meaning of words is, in this case, the message. Such a complicated blending of form and content strikes me as a deliberate, conscious effort of the writer to
as the crescendo of Gershwin’s Rhapsody unfolds. After the panoramic shot, there is another series of shots of New York buildings, streets, and the like culminating in the outside sign of Elaine’s restaurant. Inside, we join a conversation, clearly in progress, between Isaac and his friend Yale (Michael Murphy): YALE: I think the essence of art is to provide a kind of working through the situation for people, you know, so you can get in touch with feelings you didn’t know you had. ISAAC: Talent
the way in which emotion and cognition are interconnected. But this interconnection between cognition and emotion is complex. Is it because Isaac has a new belief about Tracy (for example, she isn’t so young) that he now wants to re-involve himself with her? Or would it make more sense to say that because he now feels differently about her that his belief about her age changes? One way of getting at the complexity of this interaction is to think about what can cause such a change of belief. In