What is the course about?
The Japanese appreciation of beauty differs significantly from that of the West. It has a highly developed series of aesthetic concepts that, combined, express a world view based on the sacred transience of life. These concepts will be explored from a philosophical perspective using illustrations from diverse aspects of Japanese culture.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
The major aesthetic concepts:
• Mono no aware: the Pathos of Things
• Wabi: Subdued, Austere Beauty
• Sabi: Rustic Patina [agedness]
• Yugen: Mysterious Grace
• Iki: Refined Style [chic/elegant]
• Kire: Cutting [break/pause]
A brief comparision between Western and Japanese ‘ideals’ of beauty relative to these concepts and whether the concept of fhe sublime might act as bridge between Western and Japanese aesthetic sensibilities.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Briefly outline a major philosophical aspect of Japanese Aesthetics such as ‘imperfection’.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge is assumed but a willingness to engage in philosophical thinking is most useful.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be in a seminar format with brief slide-based presentations followed by Q&A and discussion.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Only note-taking equipment of your preference if so inclined.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might be interested in HP100 - Chinese philosophy, HP112 - Japanese philosophy, or HP032 - The oneness of time and being: explore the Zen philosophy of Eihei Dogen.