Philosophy 380

PHIL 380: Aesthetics

Prerequisite: Three hours of philosophy

Credit Hours: (3)

This course explores various theories and philosophical issues concerning the nature of creativity and the nature and significance of art in all of its forms. Students engage in a critical examination of such questions as these: What exactly do we mean by a "work of art"? What is beauty? What is an aesthetic experience? How are aesthetic values related to other sorts of values? What sort of truth can be found in art?


Detailed Description of the Content of the Course

This course will be concerned with the danger and the power of art. Through readings and class discussion some of the key issues in the philosophy of art, i.e., issues concerning the origin, nature and significance of art, will be dealt with. Students will be asked to examine such questions as: What is the nature of the creative process? Is the work of art a perceptual object which exists independent of the artist and the audience or is it something that exists only in the process of creation and response? What kind of truth is found in art? How does art differ from craft? By responding to many different kinds of art students learn to build up a complex response which can reflect the depths of art created by the greatest artists.


Detailed Description of the Conduct of the Course

1. Reading assignments for each day will need to be read at least twice, once to grasp the general line of thought and a second time to focus on details, difficulties and style. A third reading is recommended after class discussion.
2. Class time will be devoted to lectures, discussions, written work, and slide presentations.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students should:

1. Become aware of the philosophical foundations of art.
2. Develop a potential for understanding and interpreting art.
3. Come to understand and appreciate the creative process.


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed either by a series of exams or by a variety of formal and informal writing assignments.

a. Formal writing will include papers on specific questions. Each paper will require a first draft, peer response comments, and a final typed paper.
b. Informal writing will be frequently assigned and will be done both inside and outside of class.


Other Course Information

This course a core requirement for B.F.A.students and serves as a department elective for Philosophy and Religious Studies majors with a philosophy concentration.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

July 1991 None Charles D. Taylor
May 1994 None Kim J. Kipling
May 1995 Catalog entry revised Kim J. Kipling
January 27, 1997 Number change, prerequisite change Approved by VPAA