Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module will be concerned with conceptual questions concerning aesthetic judgements and the nature of art, beginning with an investigation of the concept of beauty and Kant’s account of it.  We shall then consider different answers to the question ‘What is art?’ Finally, we shall discuss philosophical problems which arise in specific art forms, such as the expression of emotions in music, the question whether fiction can be a valuable source of knowledge, the paradox of tragedy. 



 


Aims:

To enable students to develop a critical understanding of the philosophical problems raised by art, and by various accounts of the nature of art and aesthetic experience in general. To enable students to be able to analyse and evaluate both the various solutions which have been offered to these problems and the accounts of art and aesthetics.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module, students will be able to give an account of different approaches to the definitions of art and of aesthetics. They will be able to discuss the solutions offered to philosophical problems arising within specific art forms, as well as comparing, contrasting and evaluating those solutions. Students’ oral skills will be improved by their presentation of material on a given topic in the seminar section of this module and group interaction will be encouraged by discussion and questioning in both lectures and seminars.


Additional outcomes:

Students will gain an overview of some of the central threads in philosophical aesthetics since the 18th century.  They will also acquire a valuable perspective on other topics studied in their philosophy degree.  The questions discussed in this module will be seen to affect some other areas of philosophical inquiry, such as the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, and ethics.


Outline content:

The module will begin with an investigation of the concept of beauty and Kant’s account of it.  We shall then consider different answers to the question ‘What is art?’ Finally, we shall discuss philosophical problems which arise in specific art forms.  We shall discuss the expression of emotions in music, the question whether fiction can be a valuable source of knowledge, the paradox of tragedy. 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The format for this module contains lectures, seminars and supervisions. Students are encouraged to be active in all classes, asking questions and trying to answer the questions posed by others. The seminar normally begins with a student presentation. Powerpoint presentations and reading lists are given for this module.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 5
Guided independent study: 85
       
Total hours by term 100
       
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1 essay of 2000-2500 words


Formative assessment methods:

Students are encouraged to submit essay plans for discussion, and to volunteer to give seminar presentations.


Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    An overall mark of 40%.


    Reassessment arrangements:

    2nd attempt Essay.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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