Philosophy of Art and Beauty


The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the field of 'aesthetics,' which is a branch of philosophy that deals with questions concerning the nature of art. We will explore such questions as: What is beauty and why are human beings interested in it What is the nature/purpose of art Is there an exemplary type of aesthetic experience What distinguishes a work of art from other cultural products, such as furniture or velvet Elvis paintings Can a work's aesthetic value remain independent of its moral and political message. In what way is natural beauty different from artistic beauty Students will reflect on these and related issues through examining may of the most influential writes on aesthetics; for example: Plato, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Dewey, and Danto. The overall goal of the class is to introduce students to the depth and range of artistic activities, help student recognize the various ways in which art appeals to human beings, and show students the larger implications that questions about art and beauty can have for understanding human nature. PMI




History and Philosophy