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Philosophy of Art in an Intercultural Perspective

Deepen your knowledge on and discuss topics related to the philosophy of art involving intercultural perspectives on aesthetics in an interdisciplinary group

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
14 March - 5 July 2024

The blended course is part of a PhD-network that we are about to establish amongst CIVIS-Universities in the broader field of "Intercultural Philosophy and Global Epistemologies". The course brings together some 24 PhD-students from all CIVIS-universities. This year, participants have the chance to work with lecturers of 6 different CIVIS-universities (plus one African partner university) on the topic of "Philosophy of Art in an Intercultural Perspective" during the year. During the workshop each participant presents a paper on parts of her/his dissertation project related to the topic.

The program is structured interdisciplinary. PhD-students are accepted from a broad range of subjects. Course elements will comprise lectures as well as plenary discussions and student's work in small groups of fellow students.

Is it possible to argue about taste? According to the beginnings of philosophical aesthetics in Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, taste is a (lower) faculty of cognition, and according to Kant, aesthetic judgment explicitly refers to an a priori structure. Such a faculty of judgment must be ready to be trained and practiced. But how is it then that the taste for art changes historically and that each artistic epoch develops its own style? Doesn't aesthetics always say something about how the world is experienced? The phenomenology of the 20th century therefore prefers to speak of aesthetic experience rather than of aesthetic judgments. With this, it draws attention to the fact that aesthetics does not make judgments, but continually discovers new spaces of perception and meaning. Works of art then may be interpreted as being expressions of such perceptual experiences. While in everyday life we move, as it were, on the surface of the perceptible, artists explore the "deep life" (Husserl) of everyday life worlds. Their discoveries in turn have an effect on the concrete form of the respective lifeworld and help to animate it anew.

Insofar as artists try in their work to put their deeper digging/reaching perceptual experiences into practice, the recipients of works of art are also offered the possibility of immersing themselves in a multitude of such perceptual experiences and, with their help, of discovering the various layers of meaning that interact in a lifeworld. This is why intercultural comparison of art and aesthetics becomes as necessary as exciting in current times. First, today we need to decolonize aesthetics, i.e., we have to become aware of a plurality of ways to perceive and to form meaning. Second, there may be a chance to more easily encounter non-Western life-worlds on an aesthetic level than on the conceptual level. Can we succeed in gaining a more vivid understanding of the various spaces of perceptual experience and the different layers of meaning connected to other cultural life-worlds by re-enacting aesthetic experiences?

In the seminar, various texts on philosophical aesthetics and the philosophy of art from both European and non-Western traditions will be read. Also, images of different cultural provenance will be consulted. In addition to a critical appraisal of European philosophies of art, the focus will be laid on art and aesthetics in the Arabic-Islamic region, in Sub-Saharan Africa and in East Asia (Japan, China).

The program aims at providing PhD-students the opportunity to discuss topics related to their own dissertation projects with fellow students as well as faculty from different departments and even different subjects. This should help PhD-students to (1) gain a better overview of their area of research and (2) to network in an internationally appealing environment. Since at most universities there is not that many faculty-people in the field of the course’s topic the international exchange will foster the student’s dissertation projects.

In addition, we intend to connect participants with the alumni of three earlier editions of a blended CIVIS-course we pursued in 2020/21, 2021/22, and 2022/23. Since we intend to further develop the program in the years to come this will establish an alumni-network of more than one-hundred PhD-students amongst CIVIS-universities within the next few years.

Main topics addressed

  • Recent developments and perspectives in the philosophy of art
  • Different concepts related to aesthetics, experience of art, and its relations to the philosophy of perception as well as the philosophy of action
  • Intercultural critique of Western philosophy of art and aesthetics
  • Intercultural philosophies of art
  • The political dimension of art with particular respect to its intercultural aspects

Learning outcomes

  • Results with regard to at least some of the research questions students formulated in the beginning
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary group and to exchange cross-disciplinary
  • Ability to present own research
  • In addition, the course is meant to provide opportunities to network amongst different CIVIS-universities
  • Therefore, one expected outcome is the establishment of a PhD-network amongst participants (and alumni of earlier classes)
Dates: 14 March - 5 July 2024 Total Workload: 160 hours

Format: Blended

ECTS: 6*
Location: Tübingen, Germany Language: English (C1)

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

Physical mobility

1 to 5 July 2024

The workshop runs for five days in July 2024 at Tuebingen university. It combines lectures given by all six professors from six different CIVIS-universities with presentations given by participants. All lecturers attend the entire workshop and provide feedback to all participant’s presentations. In addition, there will be guest lectures by international research fellows of the College of Fellows, Tuebingen University, during evening sessions.

In addition to the academic program, the workshop includes some social program: Tuebingen University on-campus tour, dinner, punting trip on river Neckar, guided city-tour, and Biergarten-visit.

Virtual part

14 March to 13 June 2024 - Thursdays, 4-6 pm.

The course will be offered online (via Zoom) and consists of 12 units and provides different perspectives on the general topic:

  • Recent developments and perspectives in the philosophy of art
  • Different concepts related to aesthetics, experience of art, and its relations to the philosophy of perception as well as the philosophy of action
  • Intercultural critique of Western philosophy of art and aesthetics
  • Intercultural philosophies of art
  • The political dimension of art with particular respect to its intercultural aspects

Each one of the six lecturers will be responsible for two sessions during the semester. Students will be provided relevant literature that they have to prepare for each session. On the basis of the literature different perspectives will be discussed during the sessions. All literature will be provided in English.

In addition to lectures and plenary discussions there will be working-phases in small groups of fellow students.


This course is open to PhD students at CIVIS member universities.

  • Partcipants need to have language proficiency in English at C1-level
  • The class is interdisciplinary with a focus on philosophy, art-history, anthropology, sociology, and psychology; students should come from one of these or related subjects
  • Participants should pursue their PhD
  • The dissertation projects of applicants should be related to the topic of the class
  • Willingness to work and exchange interdisciplinary

Applications are welcome from philosophy, art history, literature, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, psychology, Global South studies, and neighboring subjects. Applicants should be doctoral students at one of the universities of the CIVIS-network (exceptionally master students may be accepted). Applicants must be willing to pursue the entire course programme and attend the in-person workshop in July 2024 with a presentation of their own research project.

A C1 level of English is required.

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

This course is also open to students with the same academic profile, who are enrolled at a CIVIS strategic partner university in Africa. Please check here, if you can apply and this particular course is open to applications from your university. Successful applicants will receive an Erasmus+ grant covering travel and subsistence costs during their stay. Applicants should be willing to extend their stay at the host university for 1-3 weeks for additional research and/or training purposes.

Application process

Interested students should apply by filling in the online application form by 7 November 2023. 

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • Level of English (according to the CEFR)
  • Research project outlines
  • If necessary, proportional representation with a view to equal participation of students from all CIVIS universities

Apply now


Participants will be granted 6 ECTS.

They have to prepare the literature dealt with during the online-phase of the program weekly. In adition, they will give a presentation during the in-person workshop.

Lecturers will assess student's committment to the class by:

  • Noting their attendance
  • Checking whether they have prepared for the respective session
  • Assessing the willingness to contribute to discussion as well as the quality of their contributions.

The main assessment, however, will be during the in-person workshop. Participants present part of their PhD-projects and all six lecturers will comment on the presentations and provide feedback.

Feedback may even be provided all year long in case PhD-students ask for it.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Mohamed ech-Cheikh Full Professor, Faculty of Letters / Department of Philosophy, Université Hassan II de Casablanca (Morocco)
  • Filomena Diodato Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Sapienza Universitè die Roma
  • Guiseppe Di Liberti Assistant Professor/Maître de conférences, Department of Philosophy / Centre Gilles Gaston Granger, Aix-Marseille Université, see more
  • Gerasimos Kakoliris Associate Professor, Department School of Philosophy / Department of Philosophy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, see more
  • Bogdan Minca Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, see more
  • Marina De Palo Professor, coordinator of PhD-program, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia / Department of Philosophy, Sapienza Università di Roma, see more
  • Anna Petronella Foultier Teaching Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, see more
  • Niels Weidtmann Academic Director of the College of Fellows - Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities / College of Fellows, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, see more