PHIL 3005 Aesthetics

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101295

Coordinator Michael Symonds Opens in new window

Description The major philosophies of art will be examined. The Western tradition will be surveyed from the Ancient Greeks through medieval and Renaissance theories of art to modern and postmodern aesthetics beginning with Kant. Marxist and feminist aesthetics will be especially emphasised. The artistic material will primarily come from the visual arts.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYB 0055 - Aesthetics


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate awareness of the major theories of art, with particular, though not exclusive, emphasis on the visual arts.
  2. identify the historical contexts of aesthetic theory.
  3. critically analyse primary texts from the history of aesthetics

Subject Content

- "Traditional" Aesthetics. The key problems of beauty and the art object. The relation between art and reality. Art and: nature, truth, morality, freedom, God, reason. The responsibilities of art and the artist in society; romanticism and classicism; art
- Marxist Aesthetics. The historical determination of art; incorporation of art into class theory; working class and bourgeois art; social realism; the culture industry and the autonomy of art. The aesthetics of Lukacs, Brecht, Adorno, Benjamin, Marcuse.
- Feminist Aesthetics. The artistic depiction of women; the "naturalness" of the female subject; the nude; pornography; women's art as a separate activity; craft versus art; the role of art in patriarchy; the denial of 'great' women artists; critiques of
- Postmodern Aesthetics. Art and everyday life. The critique of the grand narratives of aesthetics; the problems of style and progress; pastiche. Rethinking the text and the author. Against the modernist art object.

Prescribed Texts

  • A book of primary readings prepared by the subject coordinator.