Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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0 points, SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of English, Communications and Performance Studies
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Andrew Benjamin


The unit will engage with topics central to the European philosophical tradition in the first instance and then, in the second, texts integral to the position of philosophical aesthetics within it.
Students will be expected to address material from both parts of the unit in their written assessment for the unit.
Weeks 1-6 will focus on different movements in recent European philosophy. Movements that could be studied in this part of the unit include: hermeneutics, critical theory, deconstruction, and phenomenology.
Weeks 7-12 will be devoted to the study of important historical and contemporary texts in European philosophy that explicitly deal with aesthetic topics and problems.

Texts that could be studied include:
Immanuel Kant. Critique of Judgement
Friedrich Schiller. Letters on Aesthetic Education
Martin Heidegger. The Origin of the Work of Art
Walter Benjamin. The Work of Art in the Age of its Mechanical Reproducibility
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature
Jacques Rancire. The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible
Alain Badiou. Handbook of Inaesthetics


Upon successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. a thorough grounding in a number of topics and philosophers central to the European philosophical tradition.
  2. developed a capacity to read and analyze difficult and demanding philosophical texts.
  3. developed skills in writing up their analysis of texts and arguments within the European philosophical tradition
  4. acquired the transferable skills related to the summation and re-expression of source material and commentary on that material
  5. developed oral argumentative abilities.


An essay based on topics covered in the lecture/seminar: 80% (this is linked to leaning outcomes 1-4)
Participation in seminars: 20% (this is linked to Leaning outcome 5)

Attendance at 80% of lecture/seminars is the only assessment hurdle.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Lectures: 10 x 2-hours
Related Seminars: 4 x 2-hours
Private study: 12 x 9.7 hours

Off-campus attendance requirements

A weekly lecture/seminar
A related seminar series provided by visiting speakers