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PHIL 2040

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at   
Credit Hours   3   
Course Title   Philosophy Of Art   
Prerequisite(s)   Exit or exemption from Learning Support English and reading or all ESL requirements   
Corequisite(s)   None Specified   
Catalog Description   
This course is an introduction to the philosophy of art. The course will examine what role art plays in our lives by asking questions concerning the value of art, beauty, and by inquiring into the nature or essence of the work of art. In addition, the course will interrogate and discuss the work of art itself as a product of creativity, imagination, and understanding.
Expected Educational Results   
By the end of the course students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the main problems in the philosophy of art/aesthetics as they are presented in a variety of historical texts.

2. Demonstrate an ability to make use of philosophical terms and concepts to formulate important questions in the philosophy of art/aesthetics.

3. Demonstrate, through writing assignments and class discussions, the ability to think critically about issues and problems in the philosophy of art/aesthetics.

4. Demonstrate an understanding of various aesthetic theories across a variety of cultures and philosophical perspectives.
General Education Outcomes   
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the arts in the human experience.

2. Develop listening skills through lectures, class discussion, and peer group activities.

3. Develop speaking skills through class discussions and peer group activities.

4. Develop reading skills through the comprehension of the form and content of primary sources from the history of philosophy as well as other course material.

5. Develop writing skills through the composition of expository, argumentative essays and other writing.

6. Develop critical thinking skills and communications skills through all aspects of the course.
Course Content   
Assignments and material covered in the course should incorporate the following:

1. The nature or essence of art. What is art? How do we identify what art is?

2. Judgment, taste and the nature of the beautiful (an examination of debates throughout the tradition regarding the question of beauty, e.g. What is beauty? How do we develop criteria?)

3. Art as a result of a creative process and the imagination. An examination of the different theories of imagination, genius and creativity, e.g. What is the role of imagination in artwork?

4. How do we/should we understand art? The application of theories to particular works of art, the role of critique/critics in understanding art, disinterest.

5. Instructors should be sure to teach each of the philosophical theories of art with an eye towards the cultural and historical contexts in which they were written.

6. Instructors may certainly, if they so choose, organize the course chronologically, that is, as a historical survey of the philosophy of art.

Students will be required to read primary sources from the history of the philosophy of art. This reading may include, but is not limited to selections from the works of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Schelling, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Schiller, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, as well as contemporary work that deals with philosophical questions about art.
Assessment of Outcome Objectives   
I) Assessment of student work in the course:
a) Examinations:
Each examination should be in essay form, or minimally, short answer and designed to demonstrate the analysis and synthesis of information regarding issues in the Philosophy of Art.
b) Out of Class Writing Assignments totaling approximately 3,000 words (10-12 pages). This can either be a term paper, three separate papers or any combination that meets the 3,000 word minimum.
c) Class participation.

The course grade will be computed as follows:
 Examinations and Written Assignments: 60-75%
 Final Examination: 10-15%
 Participation: 10%

The individual instructor will determine the number and nature of writing assignments which students must complete; tests are given at the individual instructor’s discretion, and the final exam will be an activity of appropriate significance to the course.

II) Departmental assessment of the course:
An evaluation will be administered to all sections of Philosophy of Art by faculty teaching those sections. Students will fill out a questionnaire directly related to the objectives of the course. They will also write on one philosophical topic that they choose from a list of topics that reflect those course objectives. After students have completed the evaluation instructors teaching the course will meet to review the questionnaire responses and essays and consider their implication for syllabus revision. These evaluations will be given every three years during Fall semester, either during the last or second to last week of that semester, or alternately as part of the final exam.
Last Revised: May 12, 2011
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