George Wilson

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Research & Practice Areas

Aesthetics (esp. film), Wittgenstein, Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of Language


I was born and raised in Oregon, and I was educated at the University of Kansas (BA) and Cornell University (PHD). I have taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, UC Davis, and USC. I am married and have two children.

Early in my career I worked chiefly in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind (especially theory of action). Over the years, however, I became quite interested in film and film theory. I’ve written one book and several articles on the subject. This is currently my chief area of teaching and research.


  • Ph.D. philosophy, cornell university, 6/1970
  • B.A. philosophy, university of kansas, 6/1964
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    My interests are in Aesthetics (especially Film Aesthetics), Theory of Action, Wittgenstein, and the Philosophy of Language. In Film Aesthetics, I have been especially interested in how we should understand what it is that is most distinctive and important about the audio/visual narration of stories in the cinema. I have also done quite a bit of interpretative work on individual movies, and I am concerned with the strategies and functions of responsible interpretation in Film Studies. In the Theory of Action, I have written on the nature of intentional action, the special character of reason explanations of action, and the basis of the direct and normally authoritative knowledge that we have of our own actions. My work on Wittgenstein has chiefly dealt with ‘the rule following considerations’ and, more specifically, with Kripke’s famous reconstruction of them.

    At this juncture, I am working chiefly on topic connected with film.

    Research Specialties

    Aesthetics (esp. film), Wittgenstein, Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of Language

  • Book Chapters

    • Wilson, G. M. (2008). Rapport, Rupture, and Rape: On Pedro Almodovar’s Talk to Her. (Vol. Talk to Her) pp. 45-68. London: Routledge.

    Journal Article

    • Wilson, G. M. (2008). Interpretation. The Routledge Guide to Film and Philosophy.. pp. 162-72.
    • Wilson, G. M. (2007). Elusive Narrators in Film and Literature. Philosophical Studies. Vol. 135, pp. 73-88.
    • Wilson, G. M. (2007). On Skepticism about Rule-Following in Kripke’s Wittgenstein. Cambridge Studies in Contemporary Philosophers: Kripke/Cambridge: Cambridge University Press..
    • fellow of the council for humanities, princeton , 2008-2009
  • Office Hours

      Friday : 12-2:30
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