The Thing Itself: An Intersection of Photography and Philosophy

photo of Simone de Beauvoir


Course Description:

The goal of this dialectic class will be to investigate the fundamental nature of existence. Through lecture material and in-depth, open discussion, we will explore the ideas that a photograph evokes the tangible presence of reality yet functions as a mere substitute of the subject itself, offers a visual commentary on culture, and stands to confirm our sense of existence. We will reference the philosophical concepts of existentialism and phenomenology offered by Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Wolfgang Husserl. We will study the work of contemporary lens-media artists that address our perception and understanding of the world. Finally, we will critique personal photography work, from the fresh point of view elicited by our discussions, so as to develop and nurture one’s personal belief system and artistic vision.



Wednesdays, February 21st - March 28th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
(No class on February 28th)
Instructor: Marian Howard


Tuition and Registration:


Member: $200 - $225
Non-Member: $250


Are you a PPAC Member? If so, please do not forget to log in to receive your discount on this class. If not, sign up today and immediately receive 10% off this class.

You may register for a class up until the start of the class if the class has enough students for it to run. A determination will be made six days before the start of the class if there is a sufficient amount of students for the class to run (a minimum of three students). If a class is under-enrolled six days before the start of that class the class will be canceled. Students will be notified by email and the registration will be closed. To ensure a class has enough students for it to run please register early.

Refund Policy:

You may cancel up to seven days in advance to receive a refund, after that time no refunds or credits will be issued, no exceptions. PPAC will not provide refunds for classes, workshops, or tutorials missed as a result of students’ illness, emergencies, absence or any other events beyond PPAC’s control. Please send class cancellation requests to: