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PHL 317K • Intro To Philos Of The Arts
MWF 800am-900am WAG 302
This course offers an introduction to many of the central problems and thinkers in
aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Among the questions we will investigate are: What
is a work of art? Why do human beings create and value art? Is beauty in the eye of the
beholder? Are judgments of taste merely subjective? In addition, we will explore
questions relating to particular forms of art: What is a musical work? Does a literary
work mean what the author intends it to mean? Why do we feel fear in a horror film?
Although you will study what a number of influential historical and contemporary
thinkers have said about these questions, my goal is for you to learn how to approach
them for yourselves. A substantial portion of each class will be devoted to discussion.
Another basic goal of the course is to develop our abilities to reason, converse, and write
about foundational topics.