Further information on Winter 2019 courses


Gary Iseminger: Philosophical Aesthetics – Arguments about Art


Expanded description

The course will make use of a book of essays, Arguing About Art: Contemporary Philosophical Debates, 2nd edition, edited by Alex Neill and Aaron Ridley (New York: Routledge). The essayists in it make generous use of actual examples of works of art and controversial candidates for that status in their essays. (Here, Google will be a valuable resource; if we can’t go to a concert or a museum, we can at least consult the Web to get an idea of how a piece sounds or what a picture looks like.)

To obtain reasonably priced (used) copies of the book, first click on this address: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0415237394/ref=olp_page_3?ie=UTF8&f_all=true&startIndex=20.  Then go to the page boxes at the bottom of the resulting page and click on “1” to see about 25 copies under $25.

The topics covered by the readings in the book are as follows:

  1. The Art of Food
  2. The “Authentic” Performance of Music
  3. Fakes and Forgeries
  4. Music and Culture
  5. Appreciation, Understanding and Nature
  6. Photography and Representation
  7. Feelings and Fiction
  8. Enjoying Horror
  9. Sentimentality
  10. Art and Morality
  11. Feminism and Aesthetics
  12. Public Art

After the introductory first meeting, students will be asked to read the brief introductions to these 12 sections for the second meeting, and then the class will choose which sections to read and discuss at the remaining sessions.