Review Sheet for the Final Exam
The A, B, Cs of
Aesthetics: From Heidegger to Perniola…
Arsalan Memon, Department of Philosophy, SUNY Stony Brook, email@example.com
Exam review sheet for PHI 381: Aesthetics, December 19, 2006
FOR DISTRIBUTION, FOR ATTENDEES ONLY
––– I cannot stress this enough, if you haven’t read the
required texts designated for the class, then that is the first thing that
should be on your to-do list for the final exam. Not only should you have read
the texts, but you should also understand the points, concerns, themes, or
questions that are at stake. The required reading thus follows:
Heidegger’s “The Origin of the Work of Art”
Heidegger’s “What are Poets for?”
Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of
Merleau-Ponty’s “"Cézanne’s Doubt "
“Indirect Language and the Voices of Silence”
Merleau-Ponty’s “Eye and Mind”
Dufrenne’s Phenomenology of Aesthetic
Experience. Part I (Ch. 1, 4, 5)
Dufrenne’s Phenomenology of Aesthetic
Experience. Part III and IV
Sublime and the Avant-Garde”
Thought go on without a Body?”
Nancy’s “Why are there Several Arts and Not Just
Nancy’s “The Vestige of Art”
Art and Its Shadows
––– Highly Recommend: Read Prof. Silverman’s Textualities.
Part I (Ch. 1-5) to get a better sense of deconstruction (Derrida),
Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, and Saussure’s semiotics. (As a marginal note, do
also look at other chapters, if you have time, because some other
chapters talk about Heidegger and the Shoes, the question of enframing (Gestell),
Merleau-Ponty and Cézanne, Merleau-Ponty and Derrida and so forth).
––– Highly Recommend: Read Prof. Silverman’s forward to
Perniola’s Art and its Shadows to get a sense of Perniola’s interest in
––– Consult the protocols. The protocols, however many are
posted on the web, should supplement and not supplant the lecture delivered in
If you don’t know how to access the website, follow these
steps and you will be able to access the protocols:
Step 1 à
Type in your browser the following address: http://ms.cc.sunysb.edu/~hsilverman/
Step 2 à
Scroll down to and click on “Hugh
J. Silverman <> Courses and Seminars”
Step 3 à You will be directed to “Undergraduate
Courses and Graduate Seminars”
Step 4 à The first course is
ours, PHI 381and if you scroll down you will see “Protocols: Lecture Summaries.”
Click on the link and you will be directed to the class protocols.
If you have problems, contact me.
––– Revise the quizzes, midterm, and paper. This way, you
will understand, on the one hand, the type of questions that Prof. Silverman
asks and on the other, what was either wrong or lacking in your answers.
––– Below is a list of the motifs that were discussed in
class, which you should be familiar with:
* Disclaimer: I do not claim that this list is
comprehensive. For that reason, if I fail to mention something, you should know
it by now through the readings and through Professor Silverman’s lectures.
question of origin(s) [Ursprung] in Heidegger.
different artworks Heidegger considered: a) Van Gogh’s painting of the
shoes, b) the Greek Temple in Paestum
and c) the poem about a Roman fountain by Meyer.
- Hermeneutic Circle
(clearing), equipmentality, Gestell (enframing), Abgrund
(abyss or without ground), Ereignis, the peasant woman in Van
Gogh’s shoes, the Open, Denken (thinking), and aletheia in
fourfold (i.e. earth, sky, mortals, and divinities).
difference between Dichtung and Poesie.
role of the poets (Rilke, Trakl, and Hölderlin) for Heidegger.
Heidegger, what does it mean to say language speaks, rather than man?
question of reproducibility in Benjamin.
- Fascism’s aestheticization of politics
vs. Communism’s politicization of art in Benjamin
are the differences between the original and the reproduction of the work
of art? (I provided about 20 or so, but there are more).
aura and authenticity of the work of art in Benjamin
value vs. Exhibition value.
importance of film vis-à-vis photography and painting in Benjamin’s time.
distinction between stage actor (theatrical
performance) and film
actor (cinematic performance).
Who is the audience in each performance? What role do they play, if any?
disapproval of Dadaism.
is Merleau-Ponty’s theory of embodiment? How does this relate to the
essay, “Cézanne’s Doubt”?
is Merleau-Ponty’s notion of style? What does it have to do with expression,
being-in-the-world [être-au-monde], embodiment, the artwork, the
artist, the lived body, and the embodied world?
is Cézanne’s doubt? (Hint: think of his impaired vision, his relation to
his perceived world, and Descartes).
does Merleau-Ponty see Cézanne is expressing in and through his
does Merleau-Ponty mean by “indirect language”? Know how it differs from
“direct language”? What role does Saussure’s concept of sign (signified
[concept]-signifier [word]) play in Merleau-Ponty’s view on direct and
are some examples of indirect and direct languages?
- How is
Merleau-Ponty’s notion of style different from that of Malraux?
are the views of Merleau-Ponty and Malraux on the relationship between museum
is the relationship between the visible, the invisible, and Visibility in
Merleau-Ponty? [Hint: “Eye and Mind”] How is this related to Cézanne?
is the difference between the Merleau-Ponty of “Cézanne’s Doubt” and that
of the “Eye and Mind”?
does Dufrenne mean by the sensuous [le sensible]?
are Merleau-Ponty and Dufrenne similar and different in their aesthetic
definitions of aesthetic object and work of art.
notion of the quasi-subject.
- Who is
or becomes the spectator in Dufrenne’s phenomenology of aesthetics? Is
there a performance of the spectator?
does Dufrenne mean when he says the for-itself-in-itself-for-us, in
contradistinction to Sartre’s distinction of being-in-itself [être-en-soi]
and being-for-itself [être-pour-soi]?
is Dufrenne’s notion of style and expression?
expressed world vs. the represented world.
pivotal role does the notion of the affective a priori play in the
development of Dufrenne’s aesthetic theory? How is this related to Kant?
[Remember the distinction between a priori and a posteriori?].
- How is
an aesthetic object different from aesthetic object from living beings,
natural objects, objects of use, and signifying objects?
an aesthetic object have a place in time and space?
three moments of perception in Dufrenne: presence, representation, and
aspects of aesthetic perception: the sensuous, the represented object and
the expressed world.
can be bracketed [epoché] in aesthetic perception? [For
is meant by restitution?
are the different meanings of passe-partout? How are they related
to the overall book?
- Why is
Cézanne’s claim, “I owe you the truth in painting and I will tell it to
you” important for Derrida?
the different restitutions mentioned in Derrida’s essay, “Restitutions of
the Truth in Pointing”?
is Schapiro’s response to Heidegger’s interpretation of Van Gogh’s
painting of the shoes?
does Derrida mean by n + 1 voices (polylogue)?
is the logic of supplementarity?
is my recommendation, not a requirement: if you really want to know what
Derrida means by deconstruction, read the essay, “Letter to a Japanese
Friend,” which can be easily found online.
is the strategy of deconstruction?
does Derrida mean by hinge?
is the “+R” effect?
question of chi, ich, chiasm, Derrida’s Glas, and Adami’s
is mise en abîme?
is the difference between the Kantian, modern, and postmodern notions of
does Kant define beauty and sublime?
does Lyotard mean by the “representation of the
unpresentable in presentation itself”?
- What is the unpresentable in Newman’s sculptures?
does avant-garde mean?
asks the question, “Is it happening?” What does
it mean? How is it related to Heidegger’s Ereignis?
- What are Newman’s zips? Are they temporal (now, nun)
or spatial (here, hic) or both? What is their function? Why are
they important for Lyotard?
- In his
Presentation, Unpresentable,” Lyotard emphasizes the aesthetic importance
of presentation in opposition to representation. What does he mean by
- According to Lyotard, what is the
relation of modernity to postmodernity?
- What does Lyotard say about the body?
- What is the singular plural for Nancy? What does he
mean by it?
- What does Nancy mean by the following statement, “presentation
of presentation is not a representation” and how is this different from
Lyotard’s “representation of the unpresentable
in presentation itself”?
- What does the muses represent and/or
present in their singular plurality?
- For Nancy, is art singular or plural?
- What does he mean by transimmanence?
- What does he mean by patency?
- How is Nancy’s question, “Is it
evident?” similar to and different from Lyotard’s question, “Is it
say about the [different] sense of senses?
- What is the connection between il y
a and patency?
- What does Nancy mean by vestige? What does it have
to do with art, mimesis, simulacrum, representation, presentation, and
- What is the difference, if any, between
notion of the vestige and Perniola’s notion of the remainder?
- What is the shadow of art, according to
- What does he mean by the transit?
- For Perniola, how does one feel
[sentir] the difference?
––– Another way that helps me prepare for tests is by
comparing and contrasting the figures that are discussed in class. See what themes
are undertaken by the philosophers heretofore studied, and then write down the
differences and similarities between them on the particular themes in question.
One can compare and contrast the following figures: Heidegger, Schapiro,
Benjamin, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Lyotard, Nancy, Perniola, Saussure, Cézanne, Trakl,
Rilke, Hölderlin, Dufrenne, Malraux, Van Gogh, Adami, Kant, Newman, and many
more. One can make many combinations and permutations out of these figures
(philosophers, poets, painters, sculptures, etc.). For instance, Heidegger can
be compared and contrasted with Benjamin, Merleau-Ponty, Schapiro, Derrida,
Van Gogh, and so forth.
This review sheet to the best
of my knowledge is quasi-complete, so if I have overlooked any important detail
or point, you should not neglect it. These were the questions, themes,
and issues I encountered in my reading. There are other themes, questions, and
issues that I may have forgotten to mention. These are, after all, my
suggestions, as to how you could prepare for the final exam.
Good luck on the final exam!
Remember the final exam is on
Thursday, December 21,
2006, from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, in Room N4072, at Melville Library.
Don’t be late!!!!!!