Aesthetics and Ontology - 1st semester


i) reading and analysis of fundamental modern and contemporary philosophic texts on art ii) identification of categories, concepts, and problems implied in the philosophic reflection about aesthetic experience and artistic creation iii) understanding the context of the origins of Aesthetics within modern philosophic thinking iv) critical understanding of the contribution of Aesthetics to the questioning of Western culture about its own developments

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria João Mayer Branco


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Does not apply.


ARENDT, Hannah, Lectures on Kant´s Political Philosophy, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1992 ARENDT, Hannah, The Life of the Mind, A Harvest Book, Harcourt Brace & Company, San Diego/New York/London, 1978 BERNSTEIN, J.M., The Fate of Art. Aesthetic Alienation from Kant to Derrida and Adorno, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992 KANT, Immanuel, Crítica da Faculdade de Juízo, Introdução de António Marques, tradução e notas de António Marques e Valério Rohden, Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional - Casa da Moeda, 1998 MONDZAIN, Marie-José, Le commerce des regards, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 2003 MONDZAIN, Marie-José Homo Spectator, Bayard Éditions, Paris, 2007

Teaching method

The seminarial sessions consist of moments of oral exposition of the problems and concepts proposed as well as of the reading and discussion of the texts.

Evaluation method

The evaluation is based on a written paper and takes into account the students participation in the discussions that has place during the sessions.

Subject matter

The aim of this seminar is to analyse the Kantian notion of taste or sensus communis as presented in the Critique of Judgement and in Hannah Arendt´s reading of the same notion in her Lectures on Kant´s Political Philosophy in order to clarify if and in what measure judgement about works of art determines the very possibility of the existence of art. Such clarification implies considering, on the one hand, what is at stake in Kant´s presentation of the artist, ´talent´ and ´genius´, and, on the other hand, a discussion of the argument put forth by Marie-José Mondzain in her work Homo spectator according to which a work of art arises the possibility to bring about a community of spectators.