Credit value: 15
Module tutor: Dr Sacha Golob
Summative assessment: two x 2,500-word essays (100%)
Formative assessment: two x 1,500-word essays
Teaching pattern: one one-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks
Availability: view module availability for current/next academic year
This module introduces and examines a number of the key thinkers and the central debates within Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art.
The first half of the course looks in detail at four influential, historical analyses of art - by Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger. Central questions addressed include the nature of beauty, whether all artistic preferences are equally valid, the relationship between art and art theory, and the role of artworks in enshrining, sustaining, or undermining, social institutions.
The second half of the course focuses on contemporary treatments of some of the core questions in aesthetics. The main topics considered include:
Can a work of art be immoral? If so, would it be bad art?
Can I make something a work of art simply by saying so?
How do pictures represent, and to what degree is pictorial representation conventional?
Can pornography be art? What, if anything, is wrong with kitsch?
Does a work of art have a single ‘correct’ meaning? If so, what determines it?
Lessing, A., ‘What is wrong with a forgery?’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 19 (1965), pp.461-7.
Students completing this module should:
Understand the nature of some central problems in aesthetics.
Encounter and evaluate a number of attempts to solve the philosophical problems under discussion.
Acquire a knowledge of some of the outstanding contributions to the history of aesthetic thought.
Acquire an ability to relate the questions discussed to the work of philosophers studied on other papers.
Be encouraged to read with great care and reflect upon some difficult texts, as well as introductory and secondary material
Previous syllabus document available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.