PHIL 401
Senior Seminar: Philosophy of Art Fall 2021
Division II

Class Details

In the first part of this course, we will discuss some of the central questions in the contemporary philosophy of art: What – or when – is art? What is involved in interpreting and understanding works of art? Is aesthetic experience a special kind of experience? What is the role of emotions in creating works of art and in responding to them? Artworks can be analyzed and evaluated from many points of view (for example: formally, culturally, or politically), and for many different purposes; should one analytic lens be privileged, and why? How should we think today about the central concepts of traditional aesthetics, such as beauty or taste, or about traditional claims, such as the medium specificity claim? How should we think about contemporary art? In the second part of the course, we will discuss specific problems of some different art forms (for example: literature, music, visual arts, architecture, film, performing arts).
The Class: Format: seminar; There will be two sections of this course, with 7-10 students in each. In addition to regular weekly 3 hours long meetings (M evenings or W afternoons), students will be required to attend 2-4 guest speaker events (virtual or in person), time to be determined in consultation with all participants.
Limit: 25
Expected: 8-10
Class#: 1605
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class preparedness and participation; 10 weekly short response papers; Class presentation; Independent library research; A final paper, approximately 15 pages long.
Prerequisites: Limited to senior philosophy majors.
Enrollment Preferences: The seminar is required of all senior philosophy majors, and limited to them.
Distributions: Division II

Class Grid

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