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Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2022-2023.
This course investigates the emergence of aesthetics as its own philosophical discipline at the end of the eighteenth century. In a first phase, we will examine the rationalist articulation of aesthetics in Baumgarten's work and the empiricist theory of taste, particularly Burke's Enquiry. Drawing on the findings of these two traditions, Kant's Critique of Judgment (1790) inaugurated a preoccupation in German philosophy around 1800 with the philosophical status of the beautiful and of art. Especially in Romantic theory and practice, art was meant to provide a solution to the philosophical dilemmas in the wake of Kant's critical philosophy. However, already in Hegel's Phenomenology, and more explicitly in the Encyclopedia and the Lectures on Aesthetics, art lost this elevated position vis-à-vis philosophy. Taking this observation as a guiding thread, the main part of the course is structured around in-depth readings that may include Kant, Schiller, Schelling, the Schlegels, Novalis, Hölderlin, and Hegel. Further readings may include writings by contemporary philosophers and theoreticians--such as Adorno, Allison, Danto, Deleuze, Derrida, Ginsborg, Guyer, Lyotard et al.--whose work on aesthetics takes its starting point from the philosophical issues surrounding the emergence of aesthetic theory only to transcend these historical confines and formulate contemporary positions on the status of the aesthetic and of art. The following questions will be addressed: What are the conditions for the move from the subjective judgment of taste (Kant) to objective beauty (Romantics, Hegel)? How is the relation of art and nature reconceived by the Romantics? What is the relation of aesthetic theory and the history of art? Is philosophy the end of art?
When Offered Spring.
Credits and Grading Basis
4 Credits Stdnt Opt(Letter or S/U grades)
Class Number & Section Details
- T Olin Library 403
- Jan 23 - May 9, 2023
Instruction Mode: In Person
Enrollment limited to graduate students.
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