Modern Philosophy Seminar III: Hammam Aldouri

Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery

Introduction to Modern Philosophy
Seminar III: Friedrich Schiller’s On the Aesthetic Education of Man – Part 1
By guest lecturer Hammam Aldouri, PhD Candidate, CRMEP Kingston, London

What is the significance of art in the modern world? What can art do or achieve? What does it mean that an education is “aesthetic”?

These are the preliminary questions that will frame our examination and investigation into the method and intentions of Friedrich Schiller’s monumental 1795 epistolary work, On the Aesthetic Education of Man.

This seminar will be the first of two seminars that focus on Schiller’s Aesthetic Education, a work that, somewhat surprisingly, does not have such a central place in theories of art and artistic practices; it is surprising considering that the work is arguably a powerful, full-blown manifesto of the importance and necessity of “the instrument of fine art” (as Schiller puts it) in the realization of modern life.

Aesthetic Education presents a watershed moment of sorts in the historical development of philosophical aesthetics and theories of art: it divides the conception of aesthetics as a discourse on the possibility of the knowledge of universal beauty (through the limits of subjective taste) and the idea of art as the “construction” of new forms of reality and new modes of life.

We shall explore in what way art, according to Schiller, is raised to this higher level of creativity and the higher purpose of, as Schiller emphatically notes, “the building up of true political freedom”; we shall carry out this exploration by way of a close reading of the text. Accordingly, the first seminar will focus on the first 17 letters of Schiller’s work (the second seminar on April 10 will focus on letters 18-27). 

No prior knowledge of Schiller or philosophy is required (please note that the reading of the Schiller is advisable but not necessary). Students of fine art and practicing artists are especially encouraged to attend.

All are welcome.

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Hammam Aldouri at

Anderson Hall
333 S Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

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