Philosophers on Art

‘Philosophers on Art’ is a series of eight lectures on alternate Tuesdays during the autumn and spring. The lectures are concerned with the philosophy of art as developed through three inter-related traditions: European / ‘Continental’ philosophy (from Kant to the postmodernists) as well as the Marxist and psychoanalytic intellectual traditions. Initially, the lectures revolve around the ideas of the three so-called ‘masters of suspicion’ and founders of modern thought: Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. With these thinkers in mind we shall explore previous philosophical traditions and ideas, particularly that of the Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant. We shall consider these thinkers in connection with their legacies as developed through the Frankfurt School, especially Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, and also Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. Thereafter, we shall study in more depth psychoanalytic and Continental post-structuralist philosophy from the period of the events and demonstrations of 1968 and after through the ideas of three thinkers: Gilles Deleuze, Julia Kristeva and Slavoj Žižek. Drawing on examples of art and film to elaborate upon, or provide a counterpoint to, the issues at stake, these lectures are informed by contemporary issues and debates about art. Each of the lectures draw upon primary texts contained in my book, ‘Philosophers on Art, From Kant to the Present, A Critical Reader’ (Columbia University press, 2010). Additionally, my book ‘Introducing Continental Philosophy: A Graphic Guide’ (Icon Books Ltd. 2012) is a helpful introduction to the ideas of the lectures.


The following is a schedule of the lectures in the series:

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Kant, Alterity and the Sublime.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Nietzsche: At the Edge of Things.

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Freud and Repetition.

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Benjamin, Adorno and the Politics of Aesthetics.

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Heidegger and ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’.

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Žižek and Repetition.

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Kristeva and the Semiotic.

Tuesday, Mar. 10, 11.45 am – 2.00 pm, E003: Deleuze and Repetition.


For more information on the Art and Philosophy events, please contact Christopher Kul-Wan (


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The Doctoral Platform at CSM offers PhD candidates the space in which to meet, share research, as well as co-ordinate, curate and participate in a variety of events.

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