TuTh 2:30-3:45 a.m., Rich Building 108
Instructor: Catherine Homan
This course will examine various questions relating to art from a philosophical perspective. In the first part of the course, we will ask questions about the nature of art, such as What is art? Does art differ from craft? Must art be beautiful? Is art universal or the same across cultures? In the second part of the course, we will ask questions about the judgment and interpretation of art, such as What is taste? Are there standards for judgment? Can art be true? How is art interpreted? Is art merely “subjective”? In the final part of the course, we will examine art’s larger context, asking Does art relate to culture, politics, religion, and technology? How? Do artists have certain responsibilities regarding content? Toward the end of the semester, each student will give a presentation using a work of art to explain and discuss one of the theories covered in the course.
At the end of the course, students should be able to
- identify, explain, and pose thoughtful questions of several philosophical theories of art,
- articulate and argue well for a position on a topic in class and written assignments, and
- demonstrate an understanding of theoretical content through oral presentations.
Required Textbooks, Articles, and Resources:
Art and Interpretation: An Anthology of Readings in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, edited by Eric Dayton. Orchard Park: Broadview Press, 1999. ISBN 978144111902
All other texts will be posted on ReservesDirect