This course will examine the arts — painting, music, literature, photography, theater, film, etc. — from a philosophical perspective. We will consider what art is, and will investigate the nature of creation, criticism, interpretation, evaluation, and appreciation. What, if anything, is distinctive about art and aesthetic experience, and how are they important in our lives? What similarities and differences are there between art and aesthetically regarded natural objects? What emotional effects does art of various kinds have on appreciators? How do emotions evoked by works of art relate to the emotions of “everyday life”? In what ways do paintings, novels, music, theater, convey information, promote understanding, help us in acquiring concepts, alter our perspectives or attitudes, or transform our “conceptual scheme”? How do works of art distort or mislead? Does the value of works of art consist in their capacity to move us emotionally, in their capacity to teach, or change attitudes, or in something else?
One philosophy introduction.