Walter S. Clifton
A study of philosophical topics at the introductory level. The content of the course is entirely at the discretion of the instructor.
"Problems in Contemporary Aesthetics" This course is designed to introduce newcomers to philosophy to some of the interesting and perplexing problems in contemporary aesthetics. These problems include the investigations into ways of defining art (What qualifies as art?), the relevant connections between art and knowledge (Can we learn things from art? What kinds of things?), imagination (Are some things that we are asked to imagine in art actually impossible to imagine?), emotion (Do we care what happens to fictional characters? What kinds of emotions do we experience as we enjoy art?), and morality (Can we learn moral truths from art? Can we become better moral agents as a result of experiencing art?). We will spend one-third of the class exploring some of the ways aestheticians have tried and are trying to provide definitions for art. We will spend the rest of the term looking into individual problems that are being discussed in contemporary aesthetics, paying special attention to issues associated with literature
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Textbooks: Noel Carroll, _The Philosophy of Art_; Mette Hjort and Sue Laver, _Emotion and the Arts_; Stephen Davies, _Art and Its Messages_. Please purchase the Carroll book by the first class. Please don't purchase the other two until after the first day of class.
Class assignments and grading