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30 Credits

The Aesthetics course is concerned with aesthetic experience and aesthetic objects, their nature and their value. The first part of the course focuses on aesthetic experience and its role in ethical formation. Indicative questions include: Why does Plato banish poets from his ideal republic? What is Aristotle’s notion of catharsis? What roles can art play in the education of the emotions?

A second part of the course focuses on the nature of aesthetic objects. Indicative questions include: What is Collingwood’s expression theory of art? What is it for an artwork to represent reality?

A third part of the course focuses on the nature of aesthetic value. Indicative questions include: Does Hume provide an adequate response to his puzzle about the standard of taste? Is there a defensible form of subjectivism about value?

Key texts from the past are explored and set in context with contemporary commentaries.

Members of the NCH Philosophy faculty who have a special interest in the debates related to value theory include Dr Brian Ball, Dr Naomi Goulder, Professor A C GraylingDr David Mitchell, and Dr Ioannis Votsis.