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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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What is an Image? Philosophical Reflections - ASZFS0065
Title: What is an Image? Philosophical Reflections
Guaranteed by: Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies (21-UFAR)
Faculty: Faculty of Arts
Actual: from 2023
Semester: summer
Points: 0
E-Credits: 3
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:2/0, C [HT]
Capacity: unlimited / unknown (150)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
Key competences:  
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Additional information:
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Guarantor: Daniele De Santis, Dott. Ric.
Teacher(s): Daniele De Santis, Dott. Ric.
Last update: Daniele De Santis, Dott. Ric. (15.02.2024)
ERASMUS STUDENTS SHOULD ENROLL IN THE PARALLEL CODE: FSV00425 What is an Image? Philosophical Reflections

LS/SS 2024
Charles University
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
(Non-Philosophy Majors)

Daniele De Santis, Ph. D.

Office hours: Thursday 14:30-15:30

What is an Image? Philosophical Reflections
(Wednesday 10:50-12:30)

Room: P131

1. General Description and Aims of the Module

There is no doubt that the ontological status of what we refer to as “image” has been haunting philosophy for centuries, if not even since the very beginning of Western thought. By the same token, the structure of a “painting,” of the way in which it is supposed to reveal and disclose something to the observer testifies to a quite specific form of experience of the world. The present module’s aim is to analyze these two questions from the standpoint of a quite specific 20th century philosophical tradition, namely, phenomenology. The course will pursue a double ambition. On the one had, it will try to shed light of what it means to experience an image, or, better: it will try to clarify what an image is based upon our conscious experience of it. On the other hand, and based on the central concept of phenomenology, namely, “phenomenon,” our goal will to be verify in what sense and to what extent phenomenology’s stance on what a painting is can shed light on the notion itself of phenomenon, and vice versa (as is the case, for example, with Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Michel Henry).
Course completion requirements
Last update: Daniele De Santis, Dott. Ric. (30.01.2024)



Students will be evaluated based upon the following two distinct parameters:


(1) Participation (which includes, yet is not limited to: attendance, in-class active participation). If you are absent, please ask your classmates for any assignments or key discussion materials missed.

(2) A Final Written Paper (deadlines and modality to be established in due time)

Last update: Daniele De Santis, Dott. Ric. (30.01.2024)

3. Essential Bibliography


3.1. Original Editions


E. Husserl, Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerung (Den Haag 1980)

M. Heidegger, Holzwege (Frankfurt a.M. 1977)

M. Schapiro, “The Still Life as a Personal Object. A Note on Heidegger and Van Gogh” (from: The Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics (London 2015))

J. Derrida, La vérité en peinture (Paris 1978)

M. Merleau-Ponty, Sens et non-sens (Paris 1966)

M. Henry, Voir l’invisible (Paris 1988)

G. Deleuze, Francis Bacon. Logique de la sensation (Paris 2002)


3.2. English Translations



E. Husserl, Phantasy, Image-Consciousness and Memory (Dordrecht 2005)

M. Heidegger, Off the Beaten Tracks (Cambridge 2001)

J. Derrida, The Truth in Painting (Chicago 1987)

M. Merleau-Ponty, Sense and Non-Sense (Evanston 1991)

M. Henry, Seeing the Invisible (London 2009)

G. Deleuze, Logic of Sensation (London 2003)


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