State of the Art Aesthetics (2014) – OZSW and UU Graduate Course

Invitation / Call for applications

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Utrecht University invite PhD students/ ReMa students in philosophy to register for the course “State of the Art Aesthetics” to take place in Autumn 2014. There will be room for approx. 25 students.

Dates of course               24 and 31 October, 14, 21, 28 November 2014 (5 Fridays)
Location                              Utrecht University, Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Van Ravensteijnzaal
Application deadline: Friday 15 September 2014 (registration form for this course)

About the topic

Art is a practice deemed central to modern culture, but how is its importance to be conceptualised? The course presents a survey of approaches in philosophical aesthetics, by specialists in the field. All speakers presents their own approach as explicitly as possible: their philosophical tradition and methodology. The traditions may or may not intermingle in the course.

The subjects of the lectures present the contemporary debates, and range from questions about the philosophical discipline as a whole, and art as a practice, to questions about specific fields of application, such as particular art forms or aesthetic phenomena.


The course takes place on five fridays during a period of 1.5 month(s), in two three-hour sessions per friday.  Morning-sessions: 10-13 hr. Lunches: 13-14 hr.  Afternoon sessions: 14-17 hr.

24 october

  • Morning: Rob van Gerwen (Utrecht): Introduction: Art as a moral practice
  • Afternoon: Rob van Gerwen: Implication Art

31 october

  • Morning: Jos de Mul (Rotterdam): 1. The technological sublime or 2. The tragic
  • Afternoon: Arthur Cools (Antwerpen): Philosophy of the Image and Philosophy of Art

7 november
(no meeting) OZSW-conference

14 november

  • Morning: Joseph Früchtl (Amsterdam): Film and Ontology
  • Afternoon: Renée van de Vall (Maastricht): Contemporary Art and Phenomenology

21 november

  • Morning: Robert Zwijnenberg (Leiden): Bio-art
  • Afternoon: Bart Vandenabeele (Gent): Contemplating Beauty

28 november

  • Morning: Stéphane Symons (Leuven): Jacques Rancière’s Concept of the Aesthetic Regime
  • Afternoon: Rob van Gerwen: Rounding up

Course objectives

Since the research in philosophical aesthetics in the Netherlands could be characterized as leaning towards other traditions—analytical, hermeneutical, phenomenological—it might be understood in terms of bridging the gaps between the traditions. The aim of this course is to arrive at an overview of the contemporary traditions in the philosophy of the arts; to learn to recognize the differences amongst the philosophical traditions and to try to induce debates crossing the argumentative gaps between the traditions.


  • Dr. Rob van Gerwen, Utrecht, (Co-ordinator of the course)
  • Prof. dr. Jos de Mul (Rotterdam), <>
  • Prof. dr. Arthur Cools (Antwerpen), <>
  • Prof. dr. Joseph Früchtl (Amsterdam), <>
  • Prof. dr. Renée van de Vall (Maastricht), <>
  • Prof. dr. Robert Zwijnenberg (Leiden), <>
  • Prof. dr. Bart Vandenabeele (Gent), <>
  • Prof. dr. Stéphane Symons (Leuven), <>

Preparation & study load

The participants are expected to read all the assigned literature, to do assignments, to actively participate in the discussions and to write a paper at the end of the course. The course has a study load that is the equivalent of 5 ECs. Students who succesfully complete the course can get an OZSW certificate.


The course is free for:

  • PhD students who are a member of the OZSW;
  • ReMa students who are a member of the OZSW

Participants who do not belong to one of these groups pay a course fee of 250 euro.

How to apply for the course?

Please fill out the registration form. This includes:

  • your contact details (email address, telephone number, billing address);
  • a brief motivation for taking part in the course;
  • a description of your PhD project / research interests (max. 500 words)

In case of too many applications, the coordinator of the course will make a selection. In case of too little applications, the course will be cancelled. In case of cancellation, the OZSW will inform participants at least one week in advance. The OZSW is not responsible for any (accommodation) costs that students may have made in preparation for the course.

Important dates

The deadline for application is 15 September 2014.

Organization information

This course is coordinated by Rob van Gerwen. For further information related to the contents of this course, please contact him at the following e-mail address: For practical inquiries, please contact