PHIL 153 - Philosophy and the Arts
Winter 2015, Section 002
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Waitlist Notes:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Students are strongly advised not to take more than two Philosophy Introductions.
Other Course Info:
Students are strongly advised not to take more than two Philosophy Introductions.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course serves as an introduction to philosophy of art or aesthetics. The course will begin trying to answer the seemingly simple but deceptively difficult question of “what is art?” To attempt to answer this question we look into real world examples of art forgery and what this can tell us about art’s nature. The course will then look at relationships between works of art and those who view them. Specifically, we will discuss the way we value and judge art, the nature of art appreciation, and how we interpret, or ought to interpret, art. The course will then move on to examining the moral status of art; we will try to understand what makes an artwork immoral and look at the relationship between art and society. Lastly, we will look at specific aesthetic issues that arise due to the nature of music. Students should note that this is not a class that will look into issues about the history of art but rather one that is trying to answer fundamental philosophical questions about art itself.

Course Requirements:

Weekly reading questions, periodic in-class quizzes, five short writing assignments (roughly 300 words each), a final essay and a final exam.

Intended Audience:

This class is designed to accommodate a wide variety of students at various levels of background in aesthetics and philosophy. This means that no prior background in philosophy or the history of art is required for this class. Any student that has an interest in non-historical questions regarding art should take this course.

Class Format:

Each class will explore assigned reading(s) through a mixture of lecture and discussion. Each student is required to have done the assigned reading(s) in order to actively participate in course discussion.


PHIL 153 - Philosophy and the Arts
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (LEC)
 In Person
3Y1 or Y2
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for PHIL 153.002

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for PHIL 153 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)