Aesthetics and the philosophy of art ADED11253

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

What is beauty, and can there be an objective aesthetic value? How do aesthetic, social and ethical discourses coexist in the artistic territory? This course explores the questions that have shaped professional and the popular relationships with art, using seminal concepts on aesthetic and perception, from Plato and Aristotle, to Kant and Hegel, phenomenology (e.g. Sartre, Merlau-Ponty), British philosophy on art (e.g. Collingwood, Wollheim), and many others including Arnheim, Wittgenstein, Gombrich and Greenberg.  


Block 2

2 hours per week for 10 weeks

Thursdays, 11.00-13.00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





A written assignment of 1500 words (75%), and an in-class test/set exercise (25%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop students' critical and analytical skills through engagement with philosophical discourse.

■ Introduce students to some of the key ideas in aesthetics and philosophy of art.

■ Equip students with some of the elements of scholarly method and theoretical understanding required to pursue further study in this and other scholarly areas

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


Critically analyse the relevant philosophical texts.

• Identify and discuss the key ideas in aesthetics and the philosophy of art

• Apply philosophical questions and techniques in relation to visual culture

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.