Responsible: Pedro Miguel Arrifano (voluntary scheme)

Schedule: Wednesday from 19:30 to 21:00

Beginning February 22th

of Sessions: 12 – 3/4 months (February – May) – weekly classes

Price: 30€ (registration) + 150€
Payment modalities3 terms (50€+50€+50€) or cash payment (offer of the registration fee)

Assuming that the art of each time is linked to its contemporary philosophy, forming a worldview of this same historical time, we propose in these three months, a contemporary look based on the ideas of various philosophers, historians and art critics. Thus, topics that are transversal to the philosophy and history of art that remain determinants in today’s art dynamics will be discussed and deepened.

Main Objectives:
– To awaken the critical spirit by stimulating the debate.
– Promote questions and problematization in the face of new knowledge or situations.
– Empowering the autonomy of thought and argumentation.
– To promote habits of intervention and dialogue.
– Aproach thematic and methods of Philosophy, Theory of Art and Aesthetics


1. BEAUTIFUL – The evolution of the concept

Although the designation of aesthetics is not attributed to it, the reflections on the beautiful and on the art have existed since Antiquity. From Plato to Aristotle until the end of the eighteenth century, philosophical reflection focuses essentially on the beautiful and its nature.
Plato (The Banquet), Aristotle (Poetics), St. Thomas Aquinas (Theological Summation), Kant (Critique of Judgment), Hegel (Aesthetics and Phenomenology of Spirit).

2. POTENTIAL ART – Deep boredom

The man can not suspend and deactivate his relationship with the circle specific inhibitors. Deep boredom appears as a metaphysical operator: a way out of poverty-of-the-world.
Heidegger (What is metaphysics), Agamben (The open), Uexkull (Of animals and men) Enrique Vila-Matas (Bartleby & company).

3. BARROQUE – Immersion on deep dark

We are immersed in the infinity of nature, a kind of dark night, where our apperceptions / our flashes of light sprout. Death is the loss of the glare, our dive into the dark background. The artist is the one who penetrates this dark night to get new glimpses of it.

Espinoza (Ethics), Leibniz (The monadology and Principles of nature and Grace based on reason), Deleuze (What is Philosophy ?, Difference and Repetition).


4. NIETZSCHE The artistic character

The common man, connected to the conservation of the organism, is incapable of “meeting moons and saturns” and being master of the inner chaos. From a central nucleus of works of Friedrich Nietzsche we intend to announce the “Great Style” of the artistic character.
Nietzsche (The Will of Power, The Origin of Tragedy, Twilight of the Idols), Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time).


In the Greek world the term techné was employed, both for craftsmanship and for fine arts. But Heidegger shows that from modernity it is necessary to distinguish the production of science and technique from artistic production. Art is the putting itself into the work of truth, different from the objective and exploratory (inauthentic) proposition that seeks to dominate / instrumentalize the being.
Heidegger (The origin of the work of art).

6. MODERNThe adventure of the absurd in the twentieth century

This first part will treat the absurd in the “age of catastrophe.” At the beginning of the century the absurd appears in art as a manifestation of our unconscious and as a way of rejecting the aesthetic values ​​in force.
Karl Jaspers (Introduction to Philosophy, 1950 and The Problem of Guilt: On Political Responsibility of Germany, 1946), Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphe 1942), Martin Heidegger (Letter on Humanism, 1949 and Being and Time, 1927), Jean Paul Sartre (The Being and the Nothing, 1943) and Marcel (Men against the Human, 1951), Abstraccionismo, Painting Metaphysics and Dadaism (in particular the ready made and the object trouvé of Marcel Duchamp. ist Mann (“A Man is a Man”), Laban and Duncan, the first films Goebbels produced for the Nazi cause: SA-Mann Brand (“The Awakening of a Nation”, 1934), Hitlerjunjge Quex “, 1935), and the celebrated documentary by Leni Riefenstahl Triumph des Willens (” Triumph of the Will “, 1934) Edward Hopper, Giacometti, Beckett.

7. POST-MODERNContinuing the adventure of the absurd in the twentieth century

It is not our purpose to predict what art will be like in the next few years, because, as Alain Badiou explains, the work of art is like that founding event that can not be calculated or known or explained in its entirety. Thus, to analyze the art of the twentieth century and reflect on its place in the twenty-first century, we will pursue the notion of absurdity.
Pau Bausch: Café Muller, Carmelo Bene, Deleuze, Joy Division “Visconti, Cassevetes, Hannah Arendt, Warhol, Pop art, Emile Cioran, Gutai Group, Fluxus Movement, Otto Muehl, Kubrick, Godard, Truffaut, Body art, , The Cure, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Smiths, Paolo Sorrentino, Leos Carax, Gilles Lipovetsky, Slavoj Zizek, Michel Maffesoli and Pierre Bourdieu, Arthur C. Danto and Clement Greenberg.

8. (DES)FIGURE – Icon and simulacrum

The model of iconography is linked to representation. But what happens when the image loses its resemblance? When do the drills begin to appear? In the model of simulacrum, the images, besides releasing themselves from the obligation to copy, deform, vary, modify themselves. They are pure difference.
Plato (The Republica), Lucretius (Of the nature of the things), Panofsky (Studies in iconology), Nietzsche (The Will of power, The origin of the tragedy, Twilight of the idols); Derrida (Of gramatology) and Deleuze (Logic of the sensation).

9. HEGEL AND MARX Idealism and dialectical materialism

What is the essence of art? What is its purpose? What is its relation to the truth? To answer these questions, we intend to rethink art in the framework of a philosophy of spirit and matter.
Hegel (Introduction to the Lessons of Aesthetics and Phenomenology of the Spirit), Marx, Greenberg (Avant-garde & Kitsh and Modernist painting) and Adorno (Dialectic of Enlightenment, Aesthetic Theory).

10.FRANCIS BACONThe logic of sensation

For the Stoics there is the field of meanings that is different from the field of powers. It is an effect of the powers. In the language of the Stoics, the field of powers is the field of bodies; the field of meaning is the field of events. Deleuze reveals two worlds in the Stoics that will help us think art: the world of bodies: physics, and the world of events: the logic of sensations.
Deleuze (Logic of sensation), Bacon, Pollock, Kandinsky, Schiele, Lucien Freud.

11. NAKED IMAGEThe vision of the invisible

For José Gil the “first experience is that of the intensive image. Before perception is stabilized, fixed at a distance and imposed, the world of early childhood is organized around sensory waves in a whirlwind, unpredictable. “ The aesthetic experience does not correspond to any visible object or sign. There is a certain visibility of the invisible. The new image is the result of a mixture of current and archaic images, one never knows where it comes from.
Hegel (Phenomenology of the Spirit), Husserl (The idea of phenomenology), Marleau Ponty (The eye and the spirit), José Gil (The naked image and the small perceptions).

12. KANT The beautiful and the sublime

The spectator of the beautiful has no particular interest in this object, it is the effect of the free play of imagination and understanding. The judgment of the sublime is that of simple agreement between imagination and reason. As Lyotard writes, “the difference between the sublime and the beautiful is not of a tone. It’s a transcendental difference. ”
Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation), Kant (Critique of Judgment and Critique of Pure Reason), Blumemberg (Wreckage with Spectator), William Turner, Caspar David Friedrich, Rilke.

Note: Before each session the specific bibliography on each of the topics will be indicated.


Pedro Miguel Arrifano

Degree in Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon. Title of the final thesis: “The machines of resentment”. Master in Philosophy at the New University of Lisbon. Title of the master’s thesis: “The lecture-event: the teaching of philosophy as an exercise of the power of beginning”. Attends the second year of the Doctorate of History of art in the area of ​​Contemporary History with the doctoral thesis subordinated to the title: “The adventure of the absurd in the art of the twentieth century”. Diploma of Advanced Studies in Education Sciences in the specific area of ​​Adult Education and supervision and training of teachers at the New University of Lisbon. He taught in several secondary schools the subjects of Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology.

Participation in a cycle of conferences – Philosophy and its Reasons – Debates on the contemporary world realized by the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Letters of Lisbon. Participation in the III seminar of Research Project “The Question of God History and Criticism” held at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon. Participation in the seminar “Philosophy, Medicine and Society” – The neuroethics – presented by Professor João Lobo Antunes, held at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon. Participation in the International Colloquium Art & Speeches, organized by the Faculty of Human Social Sciences.