2012/Spring: Strategies: Aesthetics


Instructed by Fred Dolan.

This seminar offers an opportunity to read and evaluate a range theories pertaining to visual criticism with an emphasis on aesthetics and the philosophy of art. We will first discuss theories that introduce fundamental categories of the visual (such as presence and the gaze) and critique (such as structure and interpretation). We will then turn to theories that address fundamental questions concerning the nature of aesthetic experience and the concept of the artwork, including such notions as representation, form, expression, experience, and the artworld. Readings will include classical and modern sources (Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Dewey) as well as more recent and contemporary writers (Danto, Dickie, Cavell, Goodman, Carroll, Wollheim, Nehamas, Noe). This seminar will provide students with an opportunity to refine their written and verbal communication skills and to sharpen their ability to analyze and criticize arguments.