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History and Limits of Aesthetic Theory

COL 266
Spring 2024
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: PHIL 267
Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate

This class will engage significant contributions to Aesthetic Theory in the West from antiquity to the modern period along three dimensions: theoretical, critical, and historical. From a theoretical standpoint, we will address perennial questions in aesthetics, such as what makes something a work of art in the first place, what it means for art to be "beautiful" or otherwise "successful," how differences in media condition and contribute to artistic meaning, what genera are and how they evolve, whether and how art can be ethically or politically significant, why we care about fiction, why and how we "enjoy" tragic plays or horror films, and how artistic tradition can (and should) inform individual works. From a critical standpoint, we will consider how works of art contemporaneous with each theoretical account either reinforce or challenge its specific proposals. And from a historical standpoint, we will seek to understand how aesthetic theories both respond to the specificities of their own epoch and situate themselves relative to the artistic and aesthetic traditions of their predecessors. Readings will include texts by Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Lessing, and Hegel.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA COL
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(CSCT)(PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)(STS)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
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