Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

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Students on-site
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Course Description: 

This course will explore core questions in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. It will consist of three interlinked parts. In the first, we will look at some core texts in the history of aesthetics, and some secondary literature on those texts. For example, we will explore the reasons for Plato’s suspicion of ‘mimetic’ art, and whether Hume’s standard of taste can be understood in a non-circular way. In the second part, we will look at some core questions in aesthetics, such as the question of what makes an experience an aesthetic one, whether we represent real properties in representing something as having aesthetic properties like beauty, and what the relation between aesthetic value and other kinds of value is (such as moral or cognitive value). Finally, in the third part we will look at questions in the philosophy of art, such as the definition of art, and whether artists’ intentions have a role in determining the meaning of a work of art. 

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will give a presentation in class.  

There will be a choice of written tasks: students can either write one 4000 word paper, or a short response to one of the set texts (1000 words) and then a 3000 word paper.