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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ronald M Moore
PHIL 445
Seattle Campus

Philosophy of Art

Critical examination of various accounts of the nature of art, artistic activity, the aesthetic experience. Problems in interpretation and evaluation of works of art.

Class description

This course is a general introduction to the full range of philosophical problems and issues connected with art, artistic creativity, and aesthetic experience. Some attention will be focused on the long-standing controversy over the role of the arts in society, weighting evidence favoring creative autonomy against that favoring social control over artistic endeavor. We will examine representative theories as to the nature and purposes of art advanced by Plato, Kant, Tolstoy, Bell, Dickie, and various others. We will also consider the philosophical implications of certain non-philosophical materials such as art preservation statutes, museum policies, and case law regarding the rights of artists. Among the topics considered: Can art make people better; if so, in what ways? Can it corrupt? Should utilitarian considerations guide social regulations of public arts? Do artworks have rights, perhaps in addition to rights enjoyed by their creators? What guidelines are philosophically fitting for the aesthetic education of the young? TEXTS: "The Philosophy of Art: Readings Ancient and Modern", Neil & Ridley, eds. (required); "Puzzles About Art: An Aesthetics Casebook", Battin, Fisher, Moore, Silvers, eds. (recommended).

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Annette R. Bernier
Date: 11/18/2013