PHI212 Philosophy of the Arts

This module introduces studentds to a broad range of issues in the philosophy of art. The first half asks 'What is art?'. It examines three approaches: expression theories, institutional accounts, and the cluster account. This is followed by two critiques focusing on the lack of women in the canon and problems surrounding 'primitive' art. The evolutionary approach to art is discussed , and two borderline cases: craft and pornography. The second half examines four issues: cultural appropriation of art, pictorial representation, aesthetic experience and the everyday, and the supposed link between artistic creativity and madness.

Suggested Reading

Graham Gordon (2005) Philosophy of Arts: An introduction to asethetics. 3rd Edition, London, Routledge
Levinson, Jerrold ed. (2005). The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. London: Oxford University Press

This is a large collection of introductory articles on all issues in aesthetics.
Lamarque, Peter & Olsen, Stein Haugom eds. (2004).  Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art: The Analytic Tradition.  Blackwell, Oxford


Two coursework essays (50%) and one examination (2 questions - 50%).


Komarine Romdenh-Romluc