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Module descriptions

7AAN2001 Aesthetics


Credit value: 20
Module tutor: Dr Eliot Michaelson


  • Summative assessment: One 4,000-word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: One 2,000–3,000-word essay


  • Summative assessment: One 4,000-word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: One 2,000–3,000-word essay

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one weekly one-hour lecture and one weekly one-hour seminar.
Pre-requisites: none
Sample syllabus: 7AAN2001 module syllabus 2016-17.

This module will explore the question of how pictures, photographs, maps, and films represent things. The course will address a variety of interrelated questions that arise in the context of answering this question: how do these things acquire their 'aboutness'?  What is the difference between analogue and digital representation?  What differentiates pictures, maps, and photographs?  How do these sorts of representations encode information in a different way than sentences do?  And, finally, do we think in anything like pictures?

Further information

Module aims

The Aesthetics module contributes to the general aims and objectives of the Philosophy MA degree by giving students the resources to enable them to investigate the natures and values of the arts, the concepts integral to aesthetic judgment and appreciation, the nature of aesthetic experience and its significance in human life.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a level-7 module and in particular will be able to demonstrate that they have:

  • Understand the nature of some central problems in aesthetics.
  • Encounter and evaluate a number of attempts to solve the philosophical problems under discussion.
  • 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.
Past syllabi

7AAN2001 module syllabus 2012-13 (pdf)
7AAN2001 module syllabus 2013-14 (pdf)
7AAN2001 module syllabus 2014-15 (pdf)
7AAN2001 module syllabus 2015-16 (pdf)

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.

More detailed information on the current year’s module (including the syllabus for that year) can be accessed on KEATS by all students and staff. 

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Images, John Kulvicki

Making Comics, Scott McCloud

The Visual Story, Bruce Block

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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