Philosophy Of Art PHIL4027

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to a number of main issues in the philosophy of art and aesthetics the philosophical study of beauty and taste, and exploring the theories of Hume, Kant and Danto theory of art.


16x1hr lectures; 4x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Philosophy and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours Philosophy, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





Exam (90 minutes) - 40%

Essay (2000 words) - 40%

Short written piece (1000 words) - 20%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Critically assess a number of main issues in the philosophy of art and aesthetics.

■ Introduce philosophical aesthetics throughout the question 'What is Art?'

■ Review the definition of Art/Institutional Theory

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Give an account of Hume's philosophical aims in 'Of the standard of taste';

■ Expound and critically discuss Kant's theory of aesthetic judgement;

■ Critically discuss theories of artistic expression and meaning;

■ Describe and assess the prospects for a substantive theory of art;

■ Understand and discuss Danto's theory of art and the related institutional theory.

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.