This course serves as an introduction to an area of philosophy known as aesthetics or the philosophy of art. The course will address canonical problems in this area with an eye to situating those puzzles within larger historical traditions where possible.
Among the questions we’ll likely tackle are the following. What qualifies something as a work of art? What is the nature of fiction and how does it relate to truth? Why do we seek out tragedy in art, but not in life? What properties of an artwork are relevant to its value as art? What importance should we give to an artist’s intentions when interpreting a work?
Performance will be determined by a combination of papers, exams, and participation requirements.
No experience with philosophy is required
3 hrs of lecture with time for discussion per week.