Philosophy of art

Course Dates: 06/07/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Why do we value art? For the pleasure it gives us, the emotion it expresses, its truthfulness, its form? In this introduction to the philosophy of art we will consider various approaches to these questions and others.
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Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00

Course Code: HP107

Sat, day, 06 Jul - 06 Jul '24

Duration: 1 session

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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?

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. An open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than specific levels of skills.

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?

See City Lit's website for full details of all philosophy courses on offer.

Christopher Horner

Chris teaches, studies and writes about philosophy and many other things. He has taught adult learners for many years and is committed to the view that the subject should be taught in a lively way that stimulates and empowers students, and that relates both to history, culture and society more widely. Most importantly, students should begin to see how philosophy relates to them, and that it is something they can engage in with confidence and success. He has studied at the University of Sheffield, University of East Anglia, Goldsmiths and Roehampton Universites and has a PhD, the subject of which was Hannah Arendt and Kant’s Theory of Reflective Judgment. He is the co-uthor of the Cambridge University Press Book ‘Thinking Through Philosophy’, and has published numerous articles, mainly on philosophical issues. He has a strong interest in politics, history, literature, the visual arts and music and is a keen landscape photographer.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.