A philosophical history of documentary, 1895-1959

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book presents a chronology of thirty definitions attributed to the word, term, phrase, and concept of "documentary" between the years 1895 and 1959. The book dedicates one chapter to each of the thirty definitions, scrutinizing their idiosyncratic language games from close range while focusing on their historical roots and concealed philosophical sources of inspiration. Dan Geva's principal argument is twofold: first, that each definition is an original ethical premise of documentary; and second, that only the structured assemblage of the entire set of definitions successfully depicts the true ethical nature of documentary insofar as we agree to consider its philosophical history as a reflective object of thought in a perpetual state of being-self-defined: an ethics sui generis.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages393
ISBN (Electronic)9783030794668
ISBN (Print)9783030794651
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021. All rights reserved.


  • Aesthetic
  • Documentarian
  • Documentary
  • Ethics
  • Film maker
  • Philosophy of film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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