syll2413 - PHL 241 Aesthetics TTH 10:00-11:50 pm Instructor...

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TTH 10:00-11:50 pm Instructor: Dr. Elaine Miller (Philosophy) Office: Hall Auditorium 2 nd Floor, Room 220; tel: 529-2451 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: TH 12:30-2:30 pm, and by appointment Spring 2009 Course Description In this course we will examine various facets of historical and contemporary aesthetic theory from a philosophical point of view. Throughout the semester we will be asking questions such as What is a work of art? What distinguishes art from craft? What does it mean to call something beautiful? What is the ontology of a work of art? What distinguishes natural/scientific judgments or moral/practical judgments from aesthetic judgments, both in terms of their truth value and in terms of the objects of each kind of judgment? What standards can be used to correctly interpret, judge, and evaluate works of art? Why do we have/need art at all? We will also be asking contextual (historical, social, and political) questions such as What philosophical status has art had or should it have? What are the theoretical underpinnings of the distinction between modern, postmodern, and contemporary art? What social and political factors influence the consideration of what gets identified as good art? Can there be universal criteria according to which art is theorized? Finally, we will also consider some individual artists and artworks and the ways in which they are defined and theorized in the context of philosophical arguments about art. We will conclude the course by each constructing a piece of conceptual art into which we will integrate theories and concepts we have learned in class. Learning Objectives 1. To become familiar with various theories that address the fundamental questions on which the philosophical field of aesthetics is focused (see course description). 2. To understand aesthetic theory in a historical, philosophical, and political context. 3. To learn to become critically reflective about art and aesthetics, in order to be able to articulate, defend, or revise one’s beliefs about art and aesthetics with the support of historical evidence, philosophical arguments, and clear reasoning. 4. To learn the difference between expressing an opinion and making an argument, as well as to be able to identify, evaluate, and articulate arguments. 5. To learn how to write well, in particular to express one's ideas in an academic paper. Required Texts The Continental Aesthetics Reader, ed. Clive Cazeaux (Routledge) Plato, Symposium , trans. Alexander Nehemas (Hackett Publishing Co.) Danto, Arthur, After the End of Art (Princeton University Press) Note: Any other required readings will be placed on electronic reserve, through MyMiami or the Miami Library website (see course schedule for details). The password for all e-reserve readings is "phl241". Course Requirements and Evaluation
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syll2413 - PHL 241 Aesthetics TTH 10:00-11:50 pm Instructor...

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