One semester: 3 art history credits
Lacking in the long history of aesthetics and the philosophy of art is the case study approach of applying a theory directly to an artwork to see how effective it is. Does it define what art is or is not? Does it help us decide the sensory value of an artwork? Are there judgments of taste and sensory discriminations? Is there an aesthetic pleasure, a feeling of the ‘sublime,’ or is it all in the eye of the beholder? Is beauty a property of things or something we attribute to them? Ultimately, can theories of art provide a framework for critically responding to our art, our culture and nature? We intend to answer these questions by lining up some of the greatest theoreticians of the Western canon: Kant, Hegel, Croce, Adorno, Danto, Derrida, Goodman, Greenberg and Arnheim, with some of the most provocative art of our times.