What is the course about?
We will consider a number of possible explanations as to why we value art in its various forms: for the pleasure it gives, for its capacity to make representations that renew and refresh the way we see and hear; for its expressive qualities through which we seem to experience the emotions and experiences of others; its role as something which can help us become better people; its capacity to give us special kinds of ‘aesthetic’ experiences based on consideration of its form. In addition we will discuss whether judgments about art can claim to be objective, or whether all our reactions must be seen as strictly personal and subjective.
What will we cover?
Pleasure in art, the concept of expressivity; Tolstoy’s ‘contagion’ theory of art; the question of beauty and universality of art; Kant’s ideas on taste and the idea of truth in art; the concept of the ‘aesthetic experience’; mimesis and imitation; the nature of ‘aesthetic judgment’.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
-Demonstrate an understanding of the key issues in the philosophy of art
- Use and explain key concepts and heroes in philosophical aesthetics, including mimesis, expressivity, aesthetic experience and formalism.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory level course. No previous knowledge of philosophy or art is necessary, but an interest in art in at least one of its forms is assumed. An open minded attitude and a willingness to consider different views will enhance your enjoyment and benefit from this course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught through tutor presentations, seminar discussions and the consideration of a number of examples of art.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No, but please bring whatever you need to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details