Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 438: Topics in Continental Philosophy

PHIL 438: Topics in Continental Philosophy

The Generic Catalog Description

This course introduces students to a specialized topic in some aspect of European philosophy from Kant to the present.  


PHIL 438: Topics in Continental Philosophy: Aesthetics

Dan Vaillancourt

The course acquaints students with aesthetics in the Continental tradition through primary sources of six major thinkers: Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Foucault, and Derrida. 

Continental philosophers present the aesthetic experience as a revolutionary one. In other words, the aesthetic experience enables human beings to separate themselves from the reality of their world and to enjoy a moment of pleasure (Kant), to gain new inspiration (Nietzsche and Heidegger), to perceive the world as it can be (Sartre), and to look at cultural constructs in a different light (Foucault and Derrida).  The power and ubiquity of the aesthetic experience make it, according to Continental philosophers, one of the most important categories of human experience.

The course introduces students to a specialized topic in some aspect of European philosophy from Kant to the present.