PHIL 185.001 – Introduction to Aesthetics

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Instructor: Thomas Hofweber. This course meets TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. in CW 213.

This course focuses on philosophical issues about art. We will discuss a series of large scale questions about art, its purpose, its appreciation, and its limits. We will investigate art in general, and visual art and music in particular. Topics and questions to be discussed include: What is art? Does art have a goal or purpose? What makes art worthy of appreciation? How is art properly appreciated or understood? The significance of the author and the historical context. What is the relation between art and beauty? Are there objective standards for art and beauty? Beauty in nature vs. beauty in art. Does it matter whether an artwork is a forgery or copy, and if so why? Is art tied to human biology or an outgrowth of a cultural setting? The aesthetic appreciation of punk rock. Is music fundamentally different from other arts?