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Unit information: Aesthetics in 2013/14

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Unit name Aesthetics
Unit code PHIL20136
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Everett
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of art. `Art' here is being construed broadly as including e.g. literature, music and visual art generally. The focus of the course will be on art as that is discussed in contemporary analytical philosophy. Topics will include: defining `art' the ontology of Art; the nature of aesthetic properties; the intentions of the artist; the nature of artistic value; the paradox of fiction; visual representation; and the aesthetics of nature.


(1) To provide a general overview of the philosophical discussion of art;

(2) To encourage the students ability to engage critically with various positions in the philosophy of art.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, students should:

(1) have a general knowledge of the philosophical discussion of art.

(2) be able to evaluate some views about art and engage critically with a number of arguments about art.

Teaching Information

10 x 1 hour lecture plus 10 x 1 hour seminar

Assessment Information

Formative: 2 essays of 2000-2500 words

Summative: 3-hour examination

Reading and References

  • P. Lamarque and S.H. Olsen (eds), Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art: The Analytical Tradition, An Anthology, Blackwell 2004.
  • Budd, M., Values of Art: Pictures, Poetry and Music, Penguin, 1995.
  • Gaut, B. and Lopes, D.M., The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, Routledge, second edition, 2005.
  • Wollheim, R. Art and Its Objects, Cambridge University Press, 1980