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Philosophy of Art

PHL 255W

Philosophy of Art

PHL 255W

Course Description

Prerequisite: READING LEVEL 2 or WRITING LEVEL 2 and at least one previous Art or Philosophy course. Offers a serious philosophical investigation of the nature and value of art and theories about it. Investigates questions surrounding the history and practice of art, criticism, censorship, funding, the obligations of artists to society, the definition of art, and the standards for the evaluation of good and bad art. Develops the ability to apply classic theories to aesthetic issues and to critically assess analyses of art and aesthetics. Stresses the use of critical thinking skills in defense of personal analyses and opinions about art and aesthetic issues, both orally and in writing. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Explain and critically analyze the nature and the defining characteristics of art and the artistic object, orally and in writing.

Objectives:

  • Explain and critically analyze various theories that attempt to define art and the traits of artistic objects.
  • Explain and critically analyze theories about how one might distinguish the artistic enterprise from other sorts of human endeavors.
  • Explain the importance of the social conditions or context in which art is defined, functions, and is evaluated in evaluating art and making aesthetic judgments.

Explain and critically analyze the theories about the function of art in society.

Objectives:

  • Explain and critically analyze some historically important philosophic or aesthetic theories that attempt to find and explain the role of artistic work in society.
  • Explain and critically analyze the relationship between art, artists, and society in so far as how each affects and changes the other.

Analyze the processes by which art is created.

Objectives:

  • Explain and critically analyze various theories about the nature of the creative process.
  • Explain and distinguish various techniques or styles used by artists and how technique affects artistic value.

Explain and critically analyze the processes of the aesthetic evaluation of art, orally and in writing.

Objectives:

  • Explain and critically analyze the notion, nature, objects, and techniques of art criticism.
  • Explain and critically analyze a number of theories that seek to define not 'art', but 'good art', and the set of criteria by which to make this judgment.
  • Explain and critically analyze answers to the question of whether or not there is any difference in the criteria of art as relative to the medium.
  • Explain and analyze the critical process in terms of such issues as: whether the critic should take the artist's biography or intentions into account, and whether there is such a thing as THE artistic object.

Analyze positions about whether philosophy can be of service to artist and his/her audience.

Objectives:

  • Explain and offer answers to the question of whether to not philosophy can serve any practical purpose for the artist through its examination of art and the artistic process.
  • Explain and offer answers to the question of whether or not philosophical analysis of art can serve any practical purposes for artistic audience.
  • Explain how the philosophic analysis of the language of art and art criticism can affect aesthetic value judgments and artistic appreciation.