Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - 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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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCentre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Alison Ross


Previously coded CLS3280


The word 'Aesthetic' comes from a Greek verb which means 'to sense'. This unit will explore the ways art works use sensible forms to generate meaningful experiences of general significance. We will examine a selection of treatments of the claim that art works connect modes of sensation with privileged experiences of meaning. We will examine Hegel on Dutch painting, Deleuze on Francis Bacon, Merleau-Ponty on Cezanne and Lyotard on Newman. Finally, we will cover critical treatments of the claim to privileged experience of meaning in art works in relation to two themes: the constitution of the idea of art in philosophy; and the constitution of the idea of different 'mediums' of art.


Students successfully completing this subject should have developed:

  1. A critical understanding of the place and function of sensible form in art theory
  2. An ability to use the terminology of aesthetic philosophy with confidence
  3. An ability to situate the intersections between art and philosophy within their historical context
  4. An ability to make their art practice/ writing responsive to the issues covered in the unit
  5. In addition, students undertaking the subject at third year level will be able to articulate independent views on the topics covered in the unit.


Essay (2,250 words): 45%
Exam (2,250 words equivalent): 45%
Seminar presentation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One x 1 - hour lecture per week
Two x 1 and 1/2 - hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Any first year sequence in Philosophy, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Communications (Berwick, Caulfield or Clayton campus), English, Drama and Theatre Studies or Film and Television Studies in the Faculty of Arts. Or any first year sequence in the disciplines of Theory of Art and Design or Visual Culture in the Faculty of Art and Design.