Professor of Philosophy and Film, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities, Emeritus
Jesse Kalin received his B.A. from Stanford (1962) and his Ph.D. from Berkeley (1969). His major interest has been moral theory, with early essays focused on ethical egoism, prudential rationalism, Kant, and the foundations of ethics. This led to work in aesthetics, with particular attention to the role of literature (and the discursive arts generally) in establishing evidence for moral knowledge claims; he served as Associate Editor for the Journal Philosophy and Literature for 20 years. His current work has been in film studies (Scandinavian and Japanese cinemas, Tarkovsky, Wenders, Malick, and nonnarrative film), with a book on The Films of Ingmar Bergman: The Geography of the Soul (Cambridge, 2003). Most recently he has taught courses on opera with Jennifer Church, including a seminar on Richard Wagner.